Women’s basketball coach sets sights on league championship
Videography by Anna Dworzecka
UIC women’s basketball coach Regina Miller says her style has evolved over her 20-years-plus career.
“You know, as you get older, you get wiser,” Miller says with a smile.
Miller, whose contract was recently extended three years through the 2017-18 season, won her 300th game Jan. 17 against Oakland. In 2013-14, she led the Flames to a record 26 wins, the first postseason championship (Women’s Basketball Invitational) in program history, and the nation’s largest turnaround in wins. UIC collected 17 more wins (26-9) than the entire 2012-13 campaign (9-21), the largest win differential among 347 Division I programs nationwide.
We talked to Miller about coaching and teaching life lessons.
HOW HAVE YOU CHANGED SINCE YOU FIRST STARTING COACHING?
“I’ve grown as a professional and a person. I’m still fairly intense as a coach, very passionate about what I do. I’ll always have that. But I think now I’m more seasoned. I’ve been very fortunate along the way. I’ve grown as a coach to create a lot of success.”
WHAT DOES SUCCESS MEAN TO YOU?
“Success has a certain feel, has a certain sound. So when people come in the gym, they say, ‘Wow, that team is intense.’ And then, success has a certain look. That is what we try to create every day. And if we can win at that every day, we’re going to be all right.”
DESCRIBE THIS YEAR’S SQUAD
“We have what I consider a fantastic senior class, with Terri Bender and Ruvanna Campbell leading the way. I think one player who might be a good factor for us, who people don’t know about, is the transfer that we have from Loyola, Cate Soane. A lot like Ruvanna Campbell: long, quick, very athletic, fast, runs the floor, scores around the basket. I think she and Ruvanna would be a great one-two punch. So I’m really excited about all the possibilities.”
WHAT STYLE OF PLAY WILL FANS SEE?
“We know we’re going to play up-tempo more. We want to score a lot of points. Something we’ve worked on a lot off-season is shooting the basketball. We need to shoot the ball better from the perimeter than we did a year ago. We place a lot of emphasis on defense because that is going to create some easy opportunities for the girls to get into offensive transition.”
WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS THIS SEASON?
“We’ve gotten away from the chip-on-the-shoulder thing. We have that ‘positive-hungry-demanding’ mentality to compete for the Horizon League Championship.”