State parts ways with Miller

STARKVILLE – Jay Miller has won a lot of games, but not enough over the past three years.
Mississippi State said Wednesday that it will not renew the contract of its softball head coach after nine seasons at the school. Miller, 54, leaves with a 295-253 record at MSU, but the Lady Bulldogs haven’t finished over .500 since 2008, including a 24-32 mark this past season.
“We appreciate everything Jay has done for our softball program through his nine years as our head coach, and we wish him the best in all his future activities,” athletics director Scott Stricklin said in a statement. “These are always difficult decisions, however, we believe it was time for new leadership to guide our program in a different direction.”
The school said a national search for Miller’s replacement would begin immediately.
In 29 seasons as a head coach, Miller has a record of 1,004-668, a winning percentage of .601. He reached the 1,000-win milestone this season, on April 8.
Miller led MSU to the NCAA Regionals six times, most recently in 2009.
Miller, who did not return a call seeking comment, began his coaching career at Purdue and also head coached at Oklahoma City and Missouri.
He has long been involved with USA Softball, serving as a coach or administrator since 1992. He coached the national team to six gold medals during the summers of 2009 and ’10.
Miller is one of the founding members of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association and was inducted into its hall of fame in 2008. His wife, Lacy Lee Baker, is executive director of the NFCA, which has its headquarters in Starkville.

Contact Brad Locke at 678-1571 or brad.locke@journalinc.com.

Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal