Miller retires as volleyball head coach to become full-time administrator in athletics

Posted on December 8th, 2021 by Matt Bell

DANVILLE, Va. — One of the winningest coaches in NCAA Division III women’s volleyball is hanging up his whistle.

Averett University’s Danny Miller announced his retirement from coaching Wednesday after 27 seasons as head coach of the Cougars. Miller, who also serves as the deputy director of athletics and compliance officer, is transitioning to a full-time administrator in Averett’s Department of Athletics.

“It’s hard to put into words all my thoughts about retiring from coaching after a total of 32 seasons on the court at Averett,” said Miller, who was promoted to the Cougars’ head coach in November 1994 after serving as an assistant coach for five seasons. “The first thing that comes to mind is ‘thank you.’ All I can think about is that none of this would have been possible without all the hard work, support and trust I have gotten from my players, family, assistants, peers, colleagues and administration.”

A two-time alumnus of Averett, Miller’s storied coaching career ends with a 661-319 overall record, ranking him seventh among active Division III head coaches in total victories and vaulting him into the top 25 all-time in career wins. Miller also accumulated a 335-66 record in USA South Conference play, helping guide Averett to four NCAA Tournament appearances, eight conference tournament titles and 14 regular season crowns. Miller was named the USA South’s Coach of the Year nine times and voted the Virginia Sports Information Directors State Coach of the Year six times. He coached and recruited Averett’s nine All-American selections in volleyball and developed eight players who combined for 16 conference player of the year awards.
Miller’s players also succeeded off the court, earning more than 100 USA South Academic All-Conference selections since 2002 and five Academic All-America selections from the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

Danny Miller‘s impact at Averett has been felt for more than three decades, and there is so much to be proud of given our women’s volleyball program’s history of success during his tenure as coach,” said Meg Stevens, vice president, director of athletics and campus operations. “Although we will miss his presence as a coach on the sideline, we are excited that his new full-time role as an administrator with more than 30 years of institutional knowledge at Averett will allow him to have an even larger impact in our athletics department and in our campus community.”

On April 20, 2010, Miller became the ninth person inducted into the Cougar Club Sports Hall of Fame. In June 2017, Miller was inducted into the USA South Conference Hall of Fame.

Before his record-setting head coaching career began in 1995, Miller served as an assistant on the Averett staff from 1990-94 and was the school’s first sports information director until 2000. He earned a Bachelor of Science in marketing in 1991 and a Master of Business Administration in 1995, both from Averett.

“Coach Miller has invested tremendous, gifted leadership as well as longevity and commitment to success as Averett’s volleyball head coach,” Averett President Dr. Tiffany M. Franks said. “He has built a strong legacy for Averett volleyball beyond winning including the positive impact he has made on the lives of his student-athletes. We are grateful for the culture of excellence he influenced on and off the court and by instilling in his student-athletes the value to give their very best at all times. While we will miss him on the sidelines, I am thankful Averett will continue to benefit from his many talents as he transitions from coaching to full-time athletic leadership.”

Miller said that while it is hard to walk away from coaching, the timing is right for him.

“The hardest part is there’s never a good time to leave coaching because there are always players you want to see grow and finish and there is always a goal to chase, but I do feel now is the right point,” Miller said. “As we transition to a new conference along with the staffing changes within the department and my daughters’ stages in life, I feel the situation is as good as it can be with life and the team in a good place. The advantage is I will still be able to be at Averett and be a part of my players’ lives and help and support them as they continue with their careers.”

Miller will continue to serve as acting head coach until his successor is hired.

Although Miller said he will miss coaching, he is excited for the next chapter in his career.

“I look forward to continue to grow in my leadership and the new challenges that my added responsibilities will bring within the department,” Miller said. “I hope I never lose contact with the student-athletes as they have always been the best part of my job.”

For a look back at photos from Danny Miller‘s tenure as head coach, click here