New Colorado coach aware of Big 12 prestige

Updated: April 27, 2005, 6:27 PM ET
Associated Press

BOULDER, Colo. -- Kathy McConnell-Miller said Wednesday she isn't afraid to follow Ceal Barry's successful two-decade stint as Colorado's women's basketball coach.

"I know what she's done and I'm ready to continue what Ceal Barry, a legend, has done," McConnell-Miller said Wednesday as she was introduced as Colorado's new coach.

"I'm comfortable that she is still around and would be a fool not to utilize her," she said.

Barry stepped down this spring after 22 years that included 12 NCAA Tournament appearances.

McConnell-Miller, 37, spent the last six season at Tulsa, accumulating a 91-88 record. Tulsa won just 21 games in the three seasons before she took over in 1999 but averaged 15 wins since then and appeared in the WNIT for two straight seasons.

She said she isn't worried about stepping up from the Western Athletic Conference to the Big 12.

"Having coached at Tulsa in Oklahoma, I was surrounded by the Big 12, and I know of its prestige," she said. "I'm aware of what I'm up against and I welcome it."

Both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are Big 12 schools.

Colorado Athletics Director Mike Bohn called McConnell-Miller "the brightest up-and-coming coach in America."

Her hiring ends a long and bumpy search. Colorado had agreed on terms with Wisconsin-Green Bay coach Kevin Borseth, but he backed out just hours before he was to be introduced.

McConnell-Miller said she didn't apply for the Colorado job, but Bohn contacted her.

"The call convinced me that he was an AD that wanted me," McConnell-Miller said.

She said she plans to bring assistants Mike Neighbors and Bethann Ord from her Tulsa staff and hire two more assistants soon.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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