WICHITA — Rob Miller of the University of Saint Mary has been named the KCAC Athletic Director of the Year for 2016-17.
Miller will be formally recognized at the upcoming KCAC Sport Management Conference held at York College on Aug. 8.
The annual Athletic Director of the Year Award is determined by a peer vote among the conference's athletics directors. By virtue of receiving this award at the conference level, Miller will also be considered as a candidate for the National Athletic Director of the Year by the NAIA Athletic Directors Association.
University of Saint Mary's athletic program finished third of 12 institutions in the KCAC Commissioner's Cup in 2016-17 season, which is a major improvement from its 2015-16 and 2014-15 seasons, finishing seventh of 10. University of Saint Mary was also the only team in the KCAC this year that had no ejections.
The men's and women's cross country teams both qualified for the NAIA National Championships with the men placing 14th place nationally.
The men's basketball team won 22 games behind All-American Grant Greenberg, who in January surpassed Danny Manning as the all-time leading scorer in Kansas college basketball history.
Both the men's and women's track programs finished second in the indoor and outdoor conference championships. Plus, the women's basketball program surged to third in the KCAC in 2016-17 after finishing tied for eighth the previous year. The football program also improved this past year, recording a 7-2 record in 2016 after a 3-6 mark in 2015.
Miller has also championed the development of a new sport at Saint Mary - men's and women's wrestling. Both programs went live in January, since then doubling the number of athletic programs to 18 under his watch. He also has increased the number of student-athletes by a similar order of magnitude.
"As an AD, Rob personifies the five core values of the NAIA's Champions of Character program. USM teams routinely earn 5-Star Champions of Character honors, and Rob insists on and nurtures integrity and sportsmanship among his players." Sieter Diane Stelle President, University of Saint Mary said of Miller. "AD Miller also teaches new athletes the "Saint Mary Way" in sessions known as "Miller Time." He teaches the student athletes the history of the Sisters of Charity—the founders and sponsors of the university—the history, mission, and core values of the university, what it means to be a Vincentian school, and why service is so important to USM."
Miller has also been at the helm of the Spire baseball program since 2002. His experience in teaching and coaching provides a strong foundation for the Spire baseball program. "I expect a strong work ethic and I promote positive values both on and off the playing field," Miller said. "The University of Saint Mary provides a quality learning atmosphere where student-athletes are given many opportunities to excel. I am pleased to be at Saint Mary."
"I appreciate Rob's candidness and he's always willing to jump in and help support others with ideas and information etc.," said Mike Hermann, Kansas Wesleyan University Director of Athletics. "In addition, USM and the athletic staff there under Rob's leadership has been very successful in hosting KCAC Championship events including the new Lacrosse KCAC Championships the past two years."
Miller is a 1990 graduate of Emporia State University. He and his wife Amy reside in Leavenworth with their son, Sam and daughter, Grace.