The Tulsa Shock have a new addition to the bench to help interim head coach Teresa Edwards finish the season.
Kathy McConnell-Miller joins the organization and will take her place alongside Edwards after the all-star break, on July 26 against the Atlanta Dream.
"I'm very excited to have the enthusiasm and energy that she's going to bring to us. We need that. We need to put the fun back in basketball in Tulsa and I really believe Kathy will bring that," Edwards said in the release. "I think what really sold me on Kathy was her persistence and attention to detail. She was trying to help me from afar as much has as she could. I'm very confident that I have a loyal comrade with me on this one. We are aiming to do great things here and we are going to work extremely hard."
The hire comes after Edwards has spent the last handful of games on her own, after the abrupt departure of Wayne Stehlik in the middle of a road trip. McConnell-Miller's resume has been built in the college ranks, with stints at Tulsa and Colorado. While with the Golden Hurricane, she coached the team to a 91-88 record in six seasons and two WNIT appearances.
In Boulder, her road was rocky and started with a controversy involving a transfer player, RyAnne Ridge, that culminated in a settled lawsuit by the university. In her five seasons with the Buffs, McConnell-Miller's record was 65-88 including a 20-60 mark against Big 12 competition. The end of her time at Colorado also brought controversy and was settled in the courtroom after a payment dispute was settled in February 2011.
Prior to her being a head coach, she assisted at programs across the nation including Illinois, Rutgers and Pittsburg. McConnell-Mille
If you're curious what got Edwards to give McConnell-Miller a look - aside from the Tulsa connection - a delve into Edwards' own playing past might also provide some insight.
In 1988 and 1992, Suzie McConnell Serio was a teammate in the Olympic endeavors that resulted in a gold and bronze for the USA. And later in 2003 when Edwards was drafted by the Minnesota Lynx, Serio was coaching the Lynx and a big proponent in bringing Edwards into the WNBA. Serio coached Edwards for both of her seasons as a player in Minnesota. And if you haven't figured it out yet, Serio is Kathy McConnell-Miller's older sister.
McConnell-Miller is one of eight children, six of which attended college on a basketball scholarship. Of the large family, seven are currently in the coaching profession ranging in level from high school to now a return to the WNBA.
"I'm extremely excited to be part of this city and its incredible fans once again with the Tulsa Shock organization," McConnell-Miller said. "I think my expectations are to help bring a championship caliber team to this city and engage as quickly as I can to help Coach Teresa Edwards with the goals she has set for this team. I want to help bring out the absolute best in our players. Coaching is my passion and to be sitting beside one of the greatest players to ever play basketball is something I look forward to a great deal."