Smith, O'Rourke and Wignot added to McConnell-Serio's staff
McConnell-Serio recognized at History Makers Award Dinner
It will be a battle of McConnell's on Saturday at the Petersen Events Center.
Inheriting a rebuilding project alongside her sister and head coach Suzie McConnell-Serio, the two have turned a program that was winless in its final two years of the Big East, into a team that stood toe-to-toe with Tennessee on its home court in the second round of the NCAA Tournament just two short years later.
After an 11-20 overall record in Pitt’s first season in the ACC, McConnell-Miller helped guide the Panthers to an overall mark of 20-12 in 2014-15 and Pitt tripled its conference record, going from 3-13 in year one to 9-7 in year two.
Working primarily with the forwards and centers, McConnell-Miller helped graduate student and first-year basketball player Monica Wignot etch her name into the Pitt record books.
After four years of playing Pitt volleyball, Wignot joined the Panthers’ basketball program for one final season and was the team’s second leading scorer (10.0) and third leading rebounder (6.4). Wignot also tallied 83 blocks, which is the second most ever at Pitt in a single-season.
McConnell-Miller was also instrumental in the maturation of freshmen Stasha Carey and Yacine Diop. Those two were the team’s top rebounders at 7.7 and 7.2 rpg, while Diop was third on the team in scoring (9.4) and Carey was fourth (9.1).
Prior to joining the Pitt coaching staff, McConnell-Miller served as an assistant coach with the WNBA's Tulsa Shock for two years, and served as the Director of Basketball Operations for one. She was responsible for scouting and player development, among other duties.
Her ties to the WNBA, and the Tulsa Shock specifically, were vital in helping Pitt guard Brianna Kiesel being selected as the 13th overall pick by the Tulsa Shock in the 2015 WNBA Draft.
"The McConnell sisters knew what they needed to do to get Brianna ready for this, and we trust them, so that was important to us,” said Steve Swetoha, President of the Tulsa Shock.
McConnell-Miller was the head coach at the University of Colorado from 2005-2010. She guided the Buffaloes to a postseason berth and 19 wins during the 2007-08 season, their first postseason action over a four-year span. That same year, the team earned its first national ranking in four seasons.
Before Colorado, McConnell-Miller spent six seasons as the head coach at the University of Tulsa, spearheading an effort which saw the squad post its first winning season in 14 years. McConnell-Miller left the school as the program's all-time winningest coach, collecting WAC Coach of the Year honors in 2000. The Golden Hurricane had back-to-back WNIT postseason appearances in 2004 and 2005.
Under her tutelage, Tulsa placed at least one player on a WAC All-Conference squad in each of her six seasons and had four players earn ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District honors and 25 student-athletes recognized by the WAC for their achievement in the classroom.
McConnell-Miller was an assistant under Hall of Fame coach Theresa Grentz at the University of Illinois for four seasons (1995-99), serving as associate head coach her final campaign. The Fighting Illini advanced to three NCAA Tournaments on her watch, twice appearing in the NCAA Sweet 16 and capturing the 1997 Big Ten Championship. McConnell-Miller was also vital in the signing of a pair of top-five recruiting classes - her first class was ranked fourth, while the last also earned a number four ranking in several major national publications.
The stint at Illinois was McConnell-Miller's second with Grentz as she was also on her staff at Rutgers University for two seasons. Her final recruiting class for the Knights ranked 14th-best in the country.
McConnell-Miller's first coaching stop was at Pitt (1991-93), where she served as recruiting coordinator under former coach Kirk Bruce. Bruce's daughter Carmen is a current assistant coach on the Pitt women's basketball staff.
McConnell-Miller is no stranger to the ACC, having played collegiately at the University of Virginia (1985-89). The Cavaliers earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament in each year she played, including two trips to the Sweet 16 and a showing in the 1988 Elite Eight. McConnell-Miller earned her bachelor's degree in rhetoric and communications from UVA in 1989.
She starred at Seton-LaSalle High School alongside Suzie, helping the team capture the 1984 state title. In total, six of the eight McConnell siblings attended college on a basketball scholarship.
McConnell-Miller is a member of the Western Pennsylvania Women's Basketball Hall of Fame and the Seton La Salle High School Hall of Fame.
McConnell-Miller and husband, Brad, have three children: Brice, Mackenzie, and Macie.
|ALMA MATER||Virginia, 1989|
|FAMILY||McConnell-Miller and her husband Brad have three children: Brice, Mackenzie and Macie.|
|COLLEGE COACHING EXPERIENCE|
|Pittsburgh, 1991-93||Recruiting Coordinator|
|Rutgers, 1993-95||Recruiting Coordinator|
|Illinois, 1995-99||Assistant Coach|
|Tulsa, 2000-05||Head Coach|
|Colorado, 2005-10||Head Coach|
|Pittsburgh, 2013-Present||Associate Head Coach|
|PROFESSIONAL COACHING EXPERIENCE|
|Tulsa Shock, 2011-13||2011-12, Assistant Coach; 2013, Director of Basketball Operations|
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