Basketball

UNC-G's Miller enjoying fast track to bench

Posted June 13, 2012

— Former North Carolina guard Wes Miller isn't too far removed from playing the game, graduating from the university in 2007. 

"My whole life, I knew that when I was done playing, I wanted to coach. I never dreamed that it would have worked out this way," said Miller.

Miller jumping into success as head coach Miller jumping into success as head coach

Or so quickly.

Miller became UNC-Greensboro's new interim coach just five years removed from playing college ball at North Carolina, still weeks shy of his 29th birthday.

"I was scared to death that I wasn't going to be able to handle the substitutions," admitted Miller. "I kept talking to coach (Roy) Williams about substitutions. 'Do you write them out? Do you have a pattern?' asking him all these questions, and I realized it's like playing. You kind of have to react and be yourself, and I got really comfortable." North Carolina Logo More UNC Stories

Miller's players slowly but surely became more comfortable with him.

"I'm 29 years old. I was in their shoes and it wasn't long ago," said Miller.

The Spartans lost their first six games under Miller last season and then reeled off a seven-game winning streak. Miller went on to be named Southern Conference Coach of the Year while still holding the interim tag.

"Everybody wants to say, 'You did a great job coaching,' and I just kind of laugh. I say, 'They did a great job playing.'," said Miller.

Now, the Spartans' permanent coach, Miller has added former Tar Heel teammate Jackie Manuel to his staff as an assistant, and he still seeks advice from his mentor, Roy Williams.

"When I'm overwhelmed or stressed out, he really puts in perspective what's important and what you need to focus on," Miller said. "He's the best."

Miller, who was known for spending countless hours putting up shots at Carolina, has continued to keep up with that part of his game.

"I can still shoot," Miller said. "I got a list on my wall of my whole roster, and when I beat them in a shooting contest, I cross them off the list. Right now, I've got 16 guys crossed off the list so I'll give them another shot next year."

13 Comments

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  • VT1994Hokie Jun 14, 2012

    Davis is one of the all-time UNC favorite's. He didn't want to take any job unless it was UNC. He will be in the hunt one day when Roy retires. Bet on this one. He will become the top recruitment coach in a short time.

  • caseofthefoo Jun 14, 2012

    Good job Wes.

  • BlueDeviIs00 Jun 14, 2012

    View quoted thread



    Agreed. Hubert is going to be a great coach. I think Wes will be better served coaching at a high-major D-1 school for a while before taking a job like UNC.

  • tommybrownnc Jun 14, 2012

    Wishing nothing but success for Wes.

    SubZero, I don't think UNC will go outside the family. My feeling is Hubert is being groomed to see if he can fill the shoes. Maybe him, maybe not.

  • BlueDeviIs00 Jun 14, 2012

    View quoted thread



    Really? Ever heard of Shaka Smart, Brad Stevens, or Josh Pastner?

    Wes seems like he will be a good coach, but lets be serious for a second, he's coaching at UNC-G....

  • heelsforever Jun 14, 2012

    View quoted thread



    After the experiences with Gut and Doh, I hope UNC only considers successful head coaches when Roy retires. Yes, I know both men had some success, but I also know that the program was on a downward trend from the moment Dean retired until Roy was hired.

  • Boot-the-DC-Tyrant Jun 14, 2012

    View quoted thread



    I'm thinking Hubert Davis will fill those shoes.

  • Boot-the-DC-Tyrant Jun 14, 2012

    As a lifelong Tarheel fan and a UNCG graduate, I must say GO SPARTANS! Glad to have you on our team Coach!!!

  • cussmikemeout Jun 13, 2012

    University of National Champions producing great players and great coaches.

  • carrboroyouth Jun 13, 2012

    I admit in that in middle school I had a small crush on Miller when he played for Carolina. I am glad to see that he is doing so well and still involved with basketball. From what I understand, he is just a stand-up guy. Maybe he will end up returning to Carolina in a few years!

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