SPARTANBURG, S.C. (courtesy converse.edu) — Converse College has selected Rob Miller as the head coach for the Valkyries’ inaugural men’s soccer team. Miller comes to Converse from Truett McConnell University, where he currently serves as the head coach and has coached for the last five years.
“Rob Miller brings a wealth of experience and a level of passion for men’s soccer that is unparalleled,” said Jenn Bell, Converse director of athletics. “He is a man of integrity and is well-known within the soccer community. His tremendous amount of coaching success, coupled with his proven ability to recruit talented student-athletes and high character young men, are qualities we were looking for during our search. I could not be more pleased to have found someone with such a vast amount of knowledge of the game to lead our inaugural men’s soccer program.”
Miller has a career record of 240-170-28 in his twenty-three years of coaching, and during that time, he coached a total of seven All-American, seventeen All-Region and sixty-two All-Conference Team Players. The program at Truett McConnell reached new heights under Miller, with the most noted being winning the Appalachian Athletic Conference tournament in 2017, an appearance in the NAIA National Tournament and finishing 22 in the nation. Numerous individual awards were won by Miller’s student-athletes including AAC Offensive Player of the Year (2016), AAC Player of the Year (2017), NAIA All-American (2017), and a total of ten All-Conference Players.
Miller has numerous years of impressive collegiate coaching experience, including serving as head soccer coach at NCAA Division II Anderson University from 2002-2012. While at Anderson, Miller coached his teams to three consecutive NCAA tournament appearances, as well as reaching the sweet 16 twice. His teams finished 14th, 17th, and 25th in the nation. His teams amassed nine total conference tournament appearances, and they were named South Atlantic Conference regular-season champions in 2011, as well as tournament champions in 2011, 2010, and a runner-up in 2009. Honors earned by Miller’s student-athletes included South Atlantic Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year (2011), two Southeast Region Players of the Year (2010 and 2011), two South Atlantic Conference Players of the Year (2010 and 2011), and two Conference Carolinas Freshmen of the Year (2005 and 2008).
Prior to Anderson, Miller served as the head coach at the University of the Cumberlands from 1995-2001 where his teams were named Mid-South Conference Tournament Champions in 1996 and Mid-South Conference Champions in 1998 and 2000.
“I am very excited about this tremendous opportunity to be the first Head Men’s Soccer Coach at Converse,” said Miller. “This is a unique opportunity to build a brand-new soccer program and mentor young men who will make a positive impact on the Converse campus and in the Spartanburg community. In my twenty-three years of coaching at the collegiate level, I consider it an honor to have worked with so many outstanding coaches and student-athletes.”
Miller continues, “I see Converse as a place that is moving in a positive direction from both an academic and athletic standpoint, and I am looking forward to being part of its innovative growth. I am thankful to President Newkirk, Athletic Director Jenn Bell, and the rest of the search committee for giving me the chance to lead and develop this program.”
Miller was named Mid-South Conference Coach of the Year three times (1996, 1998, 2000). During his coaching career, he has received regional awards such as Central Kentucky Conference Coach of the Year (1992), 27th District Coach of the Year (1993), Region Coach of the Year (1998), and Kentucky State Coach of the Year (2000). His most recent honor was as Conference Carolinas Coach of Year (2008), which is awarded annually to the top coach in each sport among the twelve private colleges and universities within Conference Carolinas.
In addition to his experience as a head coach at the collegiate level, Miller has also coached All-Star teams and helped develop Olympic athletes. He served as the U.S. All-Star Team head coach in the Outback Games in Darwin, Australia, in 2003. Miller was a member of the Kentucky Olympic Development Program staff from 1996-2000 and the Olympic Development Program Head Coach for the England Tour in 2004. He also served as a member of the South Carolina Olympic Development Program Staff from 2004-2006. Additionally, Miller has coached professionally in the United States Soccer League (USL) where he coached two organizations: the Lexington (KY) Bandits and the Greenville (SC) Lions. He has had several players go on to play in Major League Soccer (MLS).
Miller attended Olivet Nazarene University in Kankakee, Illinois, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Bachelor of Science in Social Work. While at Olivet Nazarene, Miller was a four-year varsity starter for the men’s soccer program. While serving as team captain there in 1989, he was named to the first-team Chicagoland-Conference team and the First Team District 20 team.
Miller will begin recruitment for the inaugural men’s soccer team in August 2020, with the team commencing gameplay in fall 2021. Competitive scholarship opportunities will be available for athletes selected to play on the inaugural team. While recruitment will be led by Miller, interested athletes may also reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with questions and to request consideration.
Converse is home to the only NCAA Division II athletic teams in Spartanburg and is a member of Conference Carolinas, whose membership is made up of private colleges and universities across the southeastern United States. The men’s teams currently planned at Converse for the 2021-2022 academic year include basketball, cross country, equestrian (co-ed), esports (co-ed), soccer, tennis, indoor and outdoor track and field, and volleyball. These men’s teams will be in addition to the thirteen NCAA Division II and IHSA women’s teams currently a part of Converse’s athletic team roster.