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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.—Virginia athletics director Craig Littlepage announced Tuesday (June 18) that Blake Miller, the top assistant coach with Oregon the past three seasons, has been named the Cavaliers’ head softball coach. Before his three campaigns with the Ducks, Miller had successful stints as the head coach of the Texas A&M-Kingsville and Darton College (Albany, Ga.) softball programs.
|Virginia's Blake Miller|
"We are committed to building a softball program at UVA that can compete with the best programs in the Atlantic Coast Conference and nationally,” Littlepage said. “I believe with the vision, the plan, and the hard work of Blake Miller, we have the opportunity to be a team that competes for championships. Coach Miller has a wonderful background and a wealth of experience in a top softball program like Oregon. His knowledge of the collegiate and club softball communities allows him to draw on the great contacts he has throughout the country, which will benefit our program in many different ways."
In his three seasons in Eugene, Ore., Miller helped lead the Ducks to three consecutive NCAA Super Regional appearances, including a 2012 trip to the Women’s College World Series. Oregon accumulated a record of 137-45 in Miller’s three seasons and went 50-11 on its way to the program’s first ever Pac-12 Championship in 2013. Miller worked primarily with the infielders and hitters at Oregon with the Ducks hitting .329 with 80 home runs and 374 runs scored (6.13 runs per game) last season.
“I would first like to thank Craig Littlepage for providing me the opportunity to be part of an incredibly successful athletics department as the head coach of the UVa softball team,” Miller said. “This is an exciting time for my family and me being welcomed into Charlottesville and at an institution steeped in a strong tradition of academic and athletic excellence.
“I’m looking forward to getting to work and bringing my version of speed and aggressiveness to the Virginia softball program and to leading the Cavaliers to ACC and national prominence.”
In addition to his 13-year coaching career, Miller is a seven-time member of the USA Men’s National Team and helped Team USA capture gold at the 2002 Pan-American Qualifier in Guatemala City, Guatemala, and a silver medal at the 2003 Pan-American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
At Texas A&M-Kingsville, Miller led the Javelinas to a 32-22 record in 2009 and climbed as high as 23rd in the Division II national rankings after they won five games against teams ranked top-five nationally. In 2010, the Javelinas broke school records in batting (.306), slugging (.470), home runs (34) and on-base percentage (.385), while the 2008 squad paced the Lone Star Conference in stolen bases (88).
During his two-year stint at Darton College, he guided the Cavaliers to a 64-44 record, the school’s first Region XVII Championship and a bid to the 2006 NJCAA Division I World Series. Darton shined off the field as well with a 3.26 team GPA his first season and an NJCAA national-high 3.59 mark the second campaign.
Before Darton, Miller spent time as an assistant coach at East Tennessee State, Missouri Western State and Mesa State.
Miller is a 2000 graduate of UNC Pembroke, where he was a four-year shortstop for the Braves. Miller earned his master’s degree in business from Mesa State in 2003.
Miller is married to the former all-conference pitcher Renee Hietbrink, and has three daughters, Ashley, Blakely and Carter.