Gulf Coast hires Kathy McConnell-Miller as women’s basketball coach

McConnell-Miller will take over after Cayla Petree resigned to go to Morehead State.
McConnell-Miller will take over after Cayla Petree resigned to go to Morehead State.(wjhg)
Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 4:44 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -The Commodores have hired a new coach for the Gulf Coast women’s basketball program.

Kathy McConnell-Miller will be the successor to Cayla Petree, who resigned several weeks ago to become the head coach at Morehead State in Kentucky.

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and a graduate of the University of Virgnia, McConnell-Miller has an extensive coaching background, including five seasons as the head coach at the University of Colorado. She’s also been a head coach at Tulsa. She’s been a D1 assistant at Rutgers, Illinois and in her hometown at Pitt. She was an assistant in the WNBA with the Tulsa Shock. Most recently, she was a high school coach in Pittsburgh, so she’s been at all levels of women’s basketball.

We spoke with the new Gulf Coast head coach via Zoom Thursday afternoon, and asked her why she is making the move to juco ball?

“I just was intrigued by it.” coach McConnell-Miller told us. “I think I’ve had a lot of experience with recruiting on the junior college level. Somebody had brought it to my attention and said hey you might want to look at this. And I just started doing my research and thought it would be something that would be a good fit for me. The more that I, the more people I talk to on the outside.”

And then, she says, she spoke with the person who knows this program the best, former head coach Roonie Scovel.

“I probably spent about 30 minutes talking to her about the job, what it looks like.” McConnel-Miller said. “What she felt needed to happen for somebody to be successful. And it was really inspiring. I got off the phone and thought to myself there’s just nothing but respect for her and what she had done. So there was just a lot of research done on the outside.”

The coach, who is the mother of three, a son and two daughters, says she’ll make a visit to Panama City soon. For now though, she says she’ll start recruiting by phone and computer. She says she feels with her hundreds of contacts at all levels of basketball, and by making use of the transfer portal, she should be able to make up for lost time in that recruiting process.

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