McConnell-Miller took Tulsa to WNIT

Updated: April 27, 2005, 2:48 PM ET
Associated Press

BOULDER, Colo. -- Colorado hired Tulsa's Kathy McConnell-Miller to replace Ceal Barry as women's basketball coach on Tuesday, ending a search that was prolonged when another coach accepted the job and then backed out.

Athletic director Mike Bohn told The Associated Press that McConnell-Miller will be introduced as coach at a news conference Wednesday.

She takes over a program that thrived for 22 years under Barry but struggled to a last-place finish in the Big 12 last season, which led to Berry's retirement.

Tulsa had won just 21 games in the three seasons before McConnell-Miller took over in 1999. It has averaged 15 wins since then and has gone to the WNIT two straight seasons. McConnell-Miller is 91-88 in six seasons at Tulsa.

"I feel like we've been blessed with some pretty good breaks to get her," Bohn said.

Colorado had agreed to terms with Wisconsin-Green Bay coach Kevin Borseth, but Borseth backed out on April 14, the day he was scheduled to be introduced. That coincided with Bohn's first full day as athletic director and gave him an urgent project right away.

Bohn said it was a great opportunity to work with Barry and the rest of the search committee.

"We got to use some real teamwork in the department, we pulled together and got a coach, and that was a real positive," he said.

Other candidates for the job were Melissa McFerrin of American University and Kamie Ethridge, an assistant at Kansas State.

McConnell-Miller played at Virginia in the mid-1980s, and was coached by Geno Auriemma, who was an assistant for the Cavaliers before going to Connecticut.

She was an assistant at Illinois, Rutgers and Pittsburgh before going to Tulsa. Much of her family is in coaching, as well. Her sister, Suzie McConnell-Serio is coach of the Minnesota Lynx of the WNBA.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press