Wes Miller begins his fifth season as the UNCG men’s basketball coach in 2015-16 after taking over the reins of the program in December of 2011 on an interim basis. Miller has spent his first four years building a championship-mentality throughout the program and has laid the groundwork for future success. Miller signed a two-year contract extension on top of his two remaining years on his initial contract after the 2014-15 season. He is under contract with the Spartans through the 2018-19 season.
Miller, the 2012 Southern Conference Coach of the Year during his interim season, has led the Spartans to double digit wins in three out of the last four years breaking a streak of three straight seasons with eight or less wins (2008-2011). When he took over during the 2011-12 season, he led the Spartans to a 10-8 SoCon record and the SoCon North Division title as he was 11-11 overall that year.
This past season in 2014-15, the Spartans were hit hard by injuries from the outset of the year and played late in the year with just six available scholarship student-athletes. Despite the disadvantage, UNCG was still the only team in the SoCon with five different players averaging double figures in scoring, with four out of the five players set to return next year. Sophomore guard Tevon Saddler led the way with 13.4 points per game and finished third in the league with 123 assists on his way to All-SoCon honors.
Additionally, the Spartans had two players join the illustrious 1,000-career point mark this past season as junior Kayel Locke became the 19th member in early February and senior Nicholas Paulos joined the ranks later that month.
Miller led the Spartans to 14 wins in 2013-14, their highest-win total since 2007-08. Included in that mark was the program’s first victory over an ACC school since 2007 and just their second victory all-time against the conference with a come-from-behind win at Virginia Tech. Freshman Tevon Saddler was named as the Southern Conference Player of the Year in 2013-14, the Spartans first such honor since Kyle Hines won the award in 2005.
Junior Kyle Cain was named First Team All-SoCon and Second Team All-Region last year. Cain became the second straight Spartan to sign a professional contract overseas, inking with Ramat Hasharon in Israel. Trevis Simpson is in his second year playing professionally in Greece after starring for the Spartans from 2011-2014.
Miller and his staff were very active on the recruiting trail in his first full season as the Spartans bringing in seven newcomers for the 2013-14 season, the first full recruiting class under Miller’s tenure. The highly-touted class includes six freshmen and one transfer. The Spartans were aggressive in recruiting North Carolina where they signed three All-State selections, including Clay Byrd and Diante Baldwin.
Miller and his staff also built on their success recruiting from the Baltimore area as they signed the Maryland Player of the Year, Tevon Saddler, a year removed from signing another Baltimore area standout in top-returning scorer Kayel Locke.
Miller, who was the youngest head coach in NCAA Division I at the time of his hire, made the removal of the interim tag an easy decision as he was named the Southern Conference Coach of the Year after leading the Spartans to the SoCon North Division title at the end of the 2011-12 season.
Miller took control of the program Dec. 13, 2011 with the Spartans sitting at 2-8 and led them through one of the biggest turnarounds in program history. Miller guided the Spartans to an 11-11 record the rest of the season to finish with a 13-19 overall record, including a 10-8 mark in SoCon play.
The Spartans lost their first six games under Miller to fall to 2-14 on the season but the program made an 180-degree turnaround posting an 11-5 record down the stretch. UNCG posted a seven-game winning streak during league play, which included several dramatic victories. The Spartans carried that momentum into the conference tournament where they advanced to the SoCon semifinals for the first time since the 2007-08 season.
Miller, who also spent the 2010-11 season as an assistant coach at UNCG, is no stranger to the state of North Carolina. He played three seasons at the University of North Carolina and spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Elon and High Point. Miller also ran his own basketball camps in Charlotte and Greensboro for two summers.
In three seasons as a player at North Carolina under head coach and mentor Roy Williams, Miller helped the Tar Heels to the national championship in 2005, two Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season championships and one ACC Tournament title. He was team captain as a senior in 2006-07, leading UNC to 31 wins and the NCAA Elite 8 as well as the ACC regular-season and tournament titles, and a final No. 3 national ranking.
As a junior, Miller shot 44.1 percent from the 3-point line, which was seventh-best in a single season in the UNC record book. His 64 treys that season ranked eighth in the ACC. He earned the team’s Defensive Player of the Year and Most Improved Player awards that season, as well.
A fan favorite at UNC, Miller authored a book entitled The Road to Blue Heaven, which was published as a diary of his experiences as a North Carolina basketball player. In addition to his success on the floor, Miller excelled off the court, earning ACC Academic Honor Roll recognition and the UNC Athletic Director’s Scholar Athlete-Award. He earned his degree in political science from North Carolina in 2007.
Upon his graduation from North Carolina, Miller played one season of professional basketball for the London Capitals of the British Basketball League, where he averaged 19.6 points per game to rank eighth in the league.
Miller was a prep standout at the New Hampton School in New Hampshire. He earned a scholarship to James Madison University, where he played one season before transferring to North Carolina to become a walk-on for Roy Williams’ squad.
Miller married the former Ashley Love in August 2011.