Courtesy of Ball State Athletics
MUNCIE, Ind. – – Ball State University has selected Kelli Miller, a Muncie native who has spent the past six seasons as a Cardinals assistant coach, as the next head coach of the women’s volleyball program, according to director of intercollegiate athletics Mark Sandy.
“Kelli is an outstanding person who is definitely ready to lead our program.” Sandy said. “I am confident she will be an excellent head coach.”
Miller was recently honored as an American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Thirty Under 30 Award winner, which recognizes the top 30 up-and-coming coaches at all levels of the sport. She helped guide the Cardinals to a 119-68 (64-34 Mid-American Conference) record over the past six years working under retired head coach Steve Shondell. During that time, Ball State won the 2010 MAC regular season championship, earned an at-large berth into the 2011 NCAA Tournament and captured the 2013 MAC West Division crown.
“I would like to thank Mark Sandy, Karin Lee and the rest of the administration for this fantastic opportunity,” Miller said. “I had the privilege of working with Steve Shondell over the past six years, and I am excited to take the lead and build upon the foundation he created. I look forward to developing our student-athletes on and off the court, and continuing the rich tradition of success Ball State women’s volleyball has enjoyed.”
During her time as an assistant, Miller helped Ball State student-athletes earn 15 All-MAC First Team honors, five All-MAC Second Team accolades and three MAC All-Freshman Team awards. A former collegiate libero herself, Miller mentored then-senior liberoAlyssa Rio to the 2010 Collegiate Volleyball Update (CVU.com) National Libero of the Year award. Rio finished her senior season ranked second nationally with a 5.86 digs-per-set average, and was a four-time MAC West Division Defensive Player of the Week and a CVU.com National Player of the Week.
Miller served as Ball State’s defensive coordinator for her first three seasons, with the team ranking in the top three in the league in digs-per-set average all three years. She assumed the duties of both offensive and recruiting coordinator in 2013. Ball State’s offense shined under her guidance, finishing first in the MAC and seventh nationally with a 14.84 kills-per-set average in 2013. In 2014, middle attacker Hayley Benson led the MAC in hitting percentage (.433) and was named an AVCA All-Midwest Region honorable mention. In 2015, Ball State’s recruiting class was recognized as the top class in the MAC and one of the top 55 nationally by PrepVolleyball.com.
Prior to coming to Ball State, Miller was a student/volunteer coach under Purdue head coach Dave Shondell during the 2009 season. While working with the Boilermakers, she was responsible for scouting opponent hitters, reception rotations and servers. In addition, she developed and implemented serve receive and defensive drills. Miller has also coached for the Munciana Volleyball Club as both a head and assistant coach.
Prior to her coaching career, Miller was a four-year standout libero at Purdue from 2005-08. She finished her career as the program’s all-time leader in digs (2,013) and digs-per-set average (4.05). A three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, Miller helped guide the Boilermakers to four NCAA Tournament appearances, including three trips to the NCAA Regional semifinals. All four teams she played on were ranked in the top-25 nationally, with her 2008 squad finishing the year at No. 15.
A five-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week, Miller collected a program-record 40 digs in a match against Indiana on Oct. 17, 2007. Over her career, Miller played in all 136 of Purdue’s matches and in 496 of a possible 497 sets. She also ended her career as the only player in program history to record 30-or-more digs in a match five times over her career.
Prior to attending Purdue, Miller was a four-time all-state selection at Muncie Central High School. The No. 47 recruit in the country as listed in PrepVolleyball.com’s senior aces, Miller helped guide the Bearcats to state titles as a sophomore and senior, with the team finishing as state runner-up her junior year. She led Muncie Central to four straight conference titles, all undefeated league seasons, and earned East Central Indiana Volleyball Player of the Year accolades as a junior.
Miller also played club volleyball for Munciana, with her 13-under team finishing second nationally, while her 14-under team placed third. As a member of the Munciana Samurai 18-1’s, which was coached by Ball State alumnus Mike Lingenfelter, Miller was named to the All-America squad after helping guide her team to a runner-up finish at the USA Junior Olympics.
Miller graduated from Purdue in December of 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in health and kinesiology. She earned her master’s degree in sport administration from Ball State in 2012.
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