Mike Miller, a 16-year veteran of the collegiate coaching ranks, has developed a strong reputation for turning around programs and has recruited and promoted 20 players to Major League Soccer, including 11 first-round picks, in his coaching career. Originally from East Brunswick, N.J., he enters his third season as associate head coach at UConn in 2018.
Succeeding at every stop in his coaching career, Miller has transitioned from a goalkeeper coach at the University of Evansville to a highly respected associate head coach and recruiter at UConn in just a 10-year span – earning a nod to the list of Top Assistant Coaches by College Soccer News in each of the past two years.
“Mike has done a fantastic job at UConn,” said head coach Ray Reid. “He is a great recruiter, very thorough on the field and does a great job communicating with all of our players. He has been a great addition to our staff.”
Since coming to UConn, the Huskies have earned five selections to the All-American Athletic Conference First Team and a pair of players were chosen in the first round of the MLS SuperDraft under Miller’s tutelage – including Jake Nerwinski (seventh overall, Vancouver) and Kwame Awuah (16th, NYC FC) in January of 2017.
The Huskies have qualified for the AAC semifinals in each of the past two seasons, including an 11-7-1 record in the 2016 campaign. Six players have received All-Conference recognition in each of the past two seasons with Miller on the staff, including freshmen Blaise N'Gague and Josh Burnett being named to the All-Conference Rookie Team in 2017.
Miller has recruited and coached a long list of MLS draft picks in his collegiate tenure, including eight overall first picks – Nerwinski, Awuah, Miles Robinson (second overall, 2017), Jeremy Embossed (fourth overall, 2017), Julian Buescher (11th overall, 2016), Alex Bono (sixth overall, 2015), and Skylar Thomas (11th overall, 2015).
Prior to UConn, Miller gained Major League Soccer experience with Sporting Kansas City as a domestic scout. His responsibilities included scouting first team, USL and academy players, putting to work his talent of finding highly skilled players. He brought Gianluca Busio to the team, the second-youngest MLS signee all-time, as well as Wan Kuzain bin Wan Kamal.
Before his time in the professional ranks, Miller served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Duke from 2014-16. He was instrumental in the rebuild of Duke’s program, responsible for student-athlete development, fundraising efforts, video analysis and opponent scouting. In three seasons, he produced a pair of top-15 recruiting classes, including a fourth-ranked class in 2014.
Miller left his stamp on the Duke program even after departing for UConn, as the Blue Devils reached the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament and were ranked No. 6 in the RPI at the conclusion of the 2017 season.
Besides the ability to recruit and develop young talent, Miller’s coaching skills have resulted in improved team results at each of his previous stops – including two of the biggest turnarounds of any team in the country while at Evansville (2006) and Syracuse (2012).
Serving four years on the Syracuse staff from 2010-14, he received more recognition from College Soccer News as one of the nation’s top assistants in 2013. He was vital in producing three-straight top-40 recruiting classes for the Orange from 2011-13 and was promoted to Head Recruiting Coordinator in 2011 for his efforts.
Most notably, however, Miller’s guidance on the field helped lead the Orange (14-6-1) to a breakout season in 2012 – advancing to the NCAA Round of 16, just the program’s second all-time NCAA postseason appearance. Syracuse finished the year ranked No. 17 in the NSCAA/Continental Tire Poll, after going just 3-12-1 the year before in 2011.
His 2012 recruiting class at Syracuse was tabbed 14th nationally by College Soccer News, while the group featured a trio of top freshmen – including All-ACC Second Team player Emil Ekbom. In addition to his recruiting duties with the Orange, Miller mentored the goalkeepers, while handling video editing and opponent scouting.
Miller received his master’s degree while serving as an assistant at Evansville from 2006-10, leading the Purple Aces to an incredible turnaround in just his first season with the staff. A team that went 2-14-1 in 2005 improved to a 9-8-0 mark in 2006 with Miller working closely with the goalkeepers, while helping to bring a pair of College Soccer News Top 40 classes during his tenure. He worked with Alec Dufty, Cory Elenio, and Robby Lynch, all MLS players.
His coaching career began in 2004 as an assistant coach at North Florida, serving his role
with the Ospreys until 2006.
Miller received his bachelor’s degree in physical education in 2004 from Jacksonville University, where we played as goalkeeper from 1999-2004. As a student-athlete, he finished fifth in program history in single-season shutouts. A two-time Atlantic Sun Player
of the Week, he earned a spot on the All-Conference Tournament Team in 2001.
He served as a member of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), holding several national coaching licenses and served as the chair on the group’s committee that was responsible for selecting the national assistant coach of the year. Currently, he is on the All-American and Mac Hermann Trophy Committee.