July 15, 2014
MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin Director of Cross Country and Track & Field Mick Byrne announced Tuesday the hiring of Jill Miller as an assistant cross country and distance coach.
“We are excited to welcome Jill Miller into the Badger family,” Byrne said. “Jill has an impressive record over the last six years of success in women’s distance running. Her student athletes have done well not only on the course and on the track, but in the classroom, which is important here at Wisconsin.
“Many of our athletes met Jill during the hiring process and our women are really excited to welcome a female coach on our staff. They are also excited that she brings a lot of knowledge and experience to the table. She has a proven track record of coaching, recruiting and production in the classroom. We feel with Jill’s experience that our program is ready to take the next step.”
Miller arrives in Madison after spending three years at William and Mary, with her final two seasons as the head women’s cross country coach. Miller also served as an assistant women’s track coach and was the Tribe’s recruiting coordinator.
A two-time Colonial Athletic Association Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year, Miller led the Tribe to a 12th-place showing at the 2013 NCAA Cross Country Championship and 13th-place finish in the Terry Crawford Program of the Year Standings. It marked the first time in program history that William and Mary scored at all three national championships. The team accomplishments also included a perfect score of 15 points at the CAA Cross Country Championship, and a runner-up finish at the CAA Track and Outdoor Championships in May.
Miller was instrumental in the development of Elaina Balouris, a six-time All-American. During the 2013-14 season, Balouris was 11th at the NCAA cross country championships, and finished 14th in the 5000 meters in her first-ever indoor championships. At the NCAA outdoor meet, she wrapped up her career with a lifetime-best fifth-place finish in the 10,000 meters. Balouris swept the CAA Athlete of the Year awards in both cross country and track and field, becoming just the ninth athlete in conference history from any sport to win four CAA Athlete of the Year honors.
During the 2012-13 season, Balouris was named the CAA Athlete of the Year in both cross country and track and field, and was named All-America in both the fall and the spring. The individual champion at the CAA cross country meet, she broke the W&M course record with her championship run, and went on to place 13th at the NCAA meet. After earning All-East honors indoors once again, Balouris set school records in both the 5000 meters and 10,000 meters outdoors, and finished second at the CAA meet in the 1500 meters and 5000 meters before placing 10th in the 10,000 meters at the NCAA outdoor championships.
Emily Stites also enjoyed a successful career under Miller, as she earned a pair of All-America honors in 2014 with a sixth-place showing in the 5000 meters at the NCAA indoor meet and a 10th-place finish in the 10,000 at the NCAA outdoor meet. During the 2013 cross country season, Stites won the Southeast Regional championship with a course-record time, and was named the Southeast Region Athlete of the Year, both program firsts.
Stites enjoyed a breakout freshman campaign in 2012-13, as she finished 26th at the NCAA cross country championship and was named CAA Rookie of the Year. She continued her dominance in cross country by leading Team USA at the Great Edinburgh Cross Country Challenge, and then won the USA Junior Championships in February. Outdoors, she won the CAA title at 10,000 meters and finished 10th in the 5000 meters at the NCAA championships before winning her second U.S. junior title by over 45 seconds in the 5000.
Stites and Balouris weren’t the only two W&M runners to have success under Miller. At the 2014 CAA Outdoor Championships, Meghan McGovern ran a conference-record time to win the 5000, with the Tribe also taking the 10,000 meters and having two scorers in the 3000 steeplechase despite every runner trying the event for the first time.
Miller’s first season as the head of the W&M women’s program was a smashing success, as the Tribe won both the cross country and track and field CAA titles and advanced to the NCAA cross country championship for the first time since 2005.
Prior to joining the Tribe, Miller spent three years at Brown University, also serving as the head women's cross country coach during the 2010-11 school year. During her time with the Bears, Miller coached three NCAA outdoor qualifiers in both 2010 and 2011, and led athletes to three school records and 23 all-time top-10 performances.
Miller graduated cum laude from Wake Forest in 2005 with dual degrees in psychology and political science. While a student, she helped Wake qualify to four consecutive NCAA cross country championships, and the school's first ACC title in 2002. On the track, she was runner-up at 3000 meters at the 2002 USA Junior Championships, and finished 10th in the 5000 meters at the 2003 NCAA Indoor Championships to earn All-America honors.