Cheryl Miller is the new head coach of the Golden Eagles women’s basketball program at Cal State LA, the University announced Friday.
Miller has had a stellar career as a player and coach. Considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time, she led USC to two national titles in 1983 and 1984 and was twice named NCAA Tournament MVP. She helped guide the 1984 U.S. Olympic team to a gold medal and is enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.
Miller comes to Cal State LA from Langston University in Langston, Oklahoma, where she led the Lions to a #18 NAIA ranking in two seasons as head coach. Miller was hired at Langston by Cal State LA Executive Director of Athletics Mike Garrett, who previously directed athletics at the historically Black college.
Miller was also the head women’s basketball coach at USC for two seasons from 1993 to 1995, taking the Trojans to the NCAA tournament both years before embarking on a successful career as a television reporter and analyst.
She also served as head coach for four years and general manager of the Phoenix Mercury of the Women's National Basketball Association, guiding the team to the league finals in 1998.
As a teenager Miller spent summers in the U.S. Olympic development program, held in the Cal State LA gym. “The first college I played at, literally, was Cal State LA. I’m glad to be back,” she said.
Miller brings a wealth of playing and coaching experience to the University—and a clear sense of purpose.
“Graduating and developing women of inspiration and substance is my goal,” Miller said. “Cal State LA is the perfect place for that mission."
Women comprise about 60 percent of the more than 27,000 students at Cal State LA, which fields teams in six women’s sports.
Garrett, who first hired Miller at USC, says she will help elevate Cal State LA athletics.
“I’ve known Cheryl as a player, coach and general manager for more than 20 years. She is a world-class talent," Garrett said. "I came to Cal State LA to win national championships, and Cheryl has done just that. She knows how to get us to where we intend to go.”
Cal State LA President William A. Covino said that “Miller is a winning shot for the University as it drives toward greater achievements in athletics.”
“Cheryl embodies the kind of athlete and human being who will lead our students to successful futures beyond what they’ve imagined,” Covino said.
Said Jose A. Gomez, Cal State LA Executive Vice President: “Los Angeles legend Cheryl Miller is coming back home to coach the Cal State LA Golden Eagles to soar to new heights—to be champions in the classroom, the community and on the court.”
Photo: Cheryl Miller on the basketball court at Cal State LA. (Credit: J. Emilio Flores/Cal State LA)
Cal State LA is a university dedicated to engagement, service, and the public good. Founded in 1947, the University serves more than 27,000 students and 240,000 distinguished alumni, who are as diverse as the city we serve. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, Cal State LA has long been recognized as an engine of economic and social mobility. Led by an award-winning faculty, the University offers nationally recognized programs in science, the arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and the humanities.
Cal State LA is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs, Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center, Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility, Billie Jean King Sports Complex, TV, Film and Media Center and the Center for Engagement, Service, and the Public Good. For more information, visit www.CalStateLA.edu.