- Two-Time NFCA Midwest Region Coaching Staff of the Year (2013 & 2014)
- Missouri Sports Hall of Fame (2015)
- Missouri Southern State Individual Hall of Fame (2003)
- Missouri Southern State Championship Team Hall of Fame (2002)
- Three-Time Division II Second-Team All-American (1990, 1991 & 1992)
- Second-Team CoSIDA Academic All-American (1992)
After orchestrating an offensive revival at Colorado State, Diane Miller is producing an encore performance in Lincoln, leading the Huskers to outstanding totals and more than 30 school records in her first seven seasons. Individually, Miller has produced 26 all-conference hitters, 13 all-region performers and five All-Americans in just seven seasons.
Entering her eighth season at Nebraska in 2016, Miller's offenses have posted some of the best totals in school history. In 2014 and 2015 alone, Miller's offenses have posted the top marks in school history in batting average, runs, runs per game, home runs, extra-base hits, RBIs, slugging percentage, total bases, on-base percentage and walks.
In the last five years, Nebraska has posted three of the top five marks in school history in batting average, runs, doubles, home runs, RBIs, slugging percentage, on-base percentage and walks. Nebraska has scored 300 runs in a season six times in school history, with half of those seasons coming during Miller's tenure, including a school-record 400 runs in 2015. NU has scored at least 10 runs 71 times in seven seasons with Miller leading the offense, including a school-record 19 games with double-digit runs in 2015.
The Huskers' power numbers have risen dramatically under Miller's guidance, as Nebraska has averaged 50 home runs per season over her first seven years, after averaging 29 home runs per season in the seven years prior to her arrival. Miller's offenses have produced four of the six 50-homer seasons in school history. Nebraska has also produced at least 55 doubles in each of Miller's seven seasons, including 90 in 2014, the second-highest total in school history. NU set a school record with 325 RBIs in 2014 and surpassed that mark with 370 RBIs in 2015. Over the past five seasons, Nebraska has produced five of the top seven RBI seasons in program history.
In her first seven seasons, Nebraska has averaged 5.3 runs per game, compared to an average of only 4.0 runs per game in the seven seasons before she arrived. The Huskers own a .295 batting average, .448 slugging percentage and .388 on-base percentage in Miller's seven seasons, compared to a .269 average, .371 slugging percentage and .344 on-base percentage in the seven seasons before she arrived.
In addition to being the hitting coach, Miller also tutors the Husker catchers. She has made an impact in that area as well, as she has coached four different catchers to a total of six all-conference honors and four all-region accolades in her seven seasons. Taylor Edwards became the first Nebraska catcher to earn All-America accolades when she was a third-team selection as a freshman in 2011. Edwards became a two-time All-American when she was named a first-team All-American in 2014. Edwards was the 2014 NFCA Division I Catcher of the Year.
The Huskers showed tremendous offensive improvement under Miller in 2009. Her instruction had an immediate impact, as the Huskers scored at least 10 runs in each of their first three games in 2009, matching a feat that had been accomplished only one other time in the storied history of Husker softball. Nebraska went on to set a school record for sacrifice flies (15), hit batters (48), walks per game (3.4) and number of players hitting a home run (10) in Miller's first season, and all of those marks have since been broken.
The 2009 offense was led by six seniors who combined to earn seven career All-Big 12 awards. Miller faced a challenge in 2010 replacing that lost production. Nebraska lost seven of its top eight batting averages from the 2009 season and had only one returning hitter who batted better than .220. The 2010 Husker lineup regularly featured four freshmen and sophomores and as many as seven. Overall, the 2010 starting lineup featured six players with one season or less experience facing Division I pitchers.
Despite its inexperience, the 2010 Husker offense topped its 2009 totals in several categories in the second year of Miller's system. Nebraska's batting average dipped slightly to .269, but the Huskers' power numbers took a big leap. The Huskers finished with 41 homers and 73 doubles in 2010, while posting a .401 slugging percentage. The 2010 Nebraska offense ranked fourth in school history at the time in doubles and sixth in home runs, slugging percentage and extra-base hits. The group also broke the school hit-by-pitch record set the previous season, getting plunked 60 times, a record that still stands.
The underclassmen finished with a collective .277 average, 47 doubles, 19 home runs and 124 RBIs. After being led by seniors in 2009, Nebraska's top five hitters included one freshman, two sophomores and two juniors in 2010. Those five hitters combined to bat .328 with 53 doubles, 34 home runs, 157 RBIs and 159 runs scored.
In 2011, Nebraska produced one of the finest offensive seasons in school history. The Huskers set then-school records with a .467 slugging percentage and a .391 on-base percentage. NU also batted .301 as a team, then the third-best mark in school history and the first .300 team average at Nebraska in 15 seasons. The Huskers added plenty of power at the plate, slugging 58 home runs in only 55 games. The 58 homers ranked second in school history at the time, while Nebraska averaged more than one home run per game for only the second time in school history.
In 2012, NU walked a then-school-record 204 times to post a .389 on-base percentage, the second-highest mark in school history, trailing only the mark from the year before. Nebraska also ranked third in program history with 270 RBIs (currently sixth), a .431 slugging percentage (currently sixth) and 77 doubles (currently fifth), while ranking fourth with 295 runs scored (currently seventh) and a .294 batting average (currently sixth).
The Huskers again left their mark in 2013, when the offense played a key role in the Huskers winning an NCAA Regional for the first time in 11 years, advancing to the first NCAA Super Regional appearance in school history and competing in the Women's College World Series for the seventh time in program history. Despite facing the toughest non-conference schedule in the country and the 10th-toughest overall schedule, Nebraska continued its assault on the offensive record books in 2013.
Nebraska set a school record with 215 walks in 2013, while ranking second in home runs (58) and extra-base hits (136), third in RBIs (290), doubles (77), runs (318), total bases (732), hit-by-pitches (45) and slugging percentage (.440) and fourth in hits (470) and on-base percentage (.380).
The Huskers topped nearly all of those marks in 2014. In one of the greatest offensive season in school history, Nebraska set records for home runs (73), extra-base hits (173), RBIs (325), slugging percentage (.495) and total bases (827), while ranking second in runs (352), doubles (90) and hit-by-pitches (49), third in on-base percentage (.388), fourth in batting average (.298) and hits (498) and fifth in walks (199). Most of those marks would be topped the next year.
In 2015 - despite losing three all-region hitters and a pair of two-time All-America hitters from the lineup - Nebraska boasted the most productive offense in Husker history. Nebraska set school records with 400 runs scored while averaging 6.9 runs per game in 2015, smashing the previous records of 358 runs (1996) and 5.7 runs per game (2014). Nebraska also totaled a school-record 370 RBIs - 45 more than the previous record - while hitting a program-best .337, eclipsing the previous record of .315. The 2015 Husker offense was the first group to slug .500 or reach base at a .400 clip in school history, setting Nebraska records with a .505 slugging percentage and .431 on-base percentage. In addition to the school records, Nebraska ranked second in school history in hit-by-pitches (52), third in hits (524), doubles (83), extra-base hits (146) and total bases (785) and hit the fifth-most home runs (52).
With four of the top five marks in school history, increased home run production has been a big story during Miller's tenure as Husker hitting coach. A school-record 10 players homered during the 2009 season. Julie Brechtel and Heidi Foland led the team with six home runs each after neither recorded a home run in their freshman seasons. Overall, seven of Nebraska's nine returning hitters (excluding slappers) recorded career-high home run totals in Miller's first year and either matched or exceeded their career totals entering the year, including three seniors. That was again the case in 2010, as eight Huskers homered on the season and each player either matched or exceeded her career high. Foland produced 13 home runs, the highest total by a Husker in 10 seasons.
In 2011, freshman twins Tatum and Taylor Edwards combined for 32 home runs, the second-highest total by any two players in school history. Both players surpassed the previous Husker freshman home run record of 13, as Tatum hit 14 homers and Taylor slugged 18 home runs, the second-highest overall total in school history. The duo - who combined for four All-America honors in their careers - combined for 25 home runs in 2013. Brooke Thomason added nine home runs in 2013, becoming the first player in school history to hit at least seven home runs all four seasons of her career. Thomason also became the first Husker ever to produce four 30-RBI seasons. Thomason set records for the most RBIs by a Husker junior and senior, while Taylor Edwards broke Thomason's junior RBI record in 2013.
In 2014, Taylor Edwards slugged 18 home runs to become Nebraska's all-time leader with 54 career home runs. Tatum Edwards and Hailey Decker each added 14 home runs, as the Huskers had three players produce double-digit home run totals for the first time in school history. Nebraska lost all three of those hitters in 2015, but Kiki Stokes slugged a career-high 11 homers and senior transfer Steph Pasquale added 11 homers of her own as Nebraska totaled 52 home runs as a team.
The Huskers have also shown great discipline at the plate under Miller, posting six of the top eight single-season on-base percentages in school history, including the top two. NU drew 181 walks in only 53 games in 2009 to average a then-school-record 3.4 walks per game. Nebraska had three players draw at least 25 walks in 2009, tying for the highest mark in school history. Combined with 48 hit batters, NU finished with a .376 on-base percentage in 2009, then the fifth-highest mark in school history. In 2010, the Huskers drew 159 walks and added 60 hit-by-pitches to post a .358 on-base percentage that ranked sixth in school history at the time. In 2011, Nebraska posted a then-school-record .391 on-base percentage, nine points better than the previous record. The Huskers nearly matched that mark in 2012, drawing a then-school-record 204 walks to post a .389 on-base percentage. In 2013, Nebraska drew a then-school-record 215 walks while reaching base at a .380 clip, the fourth-best mark in school history. NU worked 199 walks in 2014 - and finished with the third-best on-base percentage (.388) at the time. In 2015, Nebraska posted a .400 on-base percentage for the first time in school history (.431), smashing the previous record by 40 points. The Huskers dsrew a school-record 217 walks in 2015 and were hit by 52 pitches, the second-highest total in Husker history.
Individually, Miller has guided 18 Husker hitters to a total of 27 all-conference honors in only seven seasons. Three Husker seniors earned all-conference accolades in 2009 and three underclassmen, including one freshman, took home All-Big 12 honors in 2010. Brechtel, Ashley Guile and Thomason each earned NFCA All-Midwest Region accolades in 2010 after no Husker hitter had made the all-region team the previous three seasons. In 2011, the Edwards twins each earned All-Big 12 honors, while Taylor was a first-team all-region pick and a third-team All-American. Taylor was also one of 25 finalists for the USA Softball Player-of-the-Year award. In 2012, Gabby Banda, Courtney Breault, Tatum Edwards and Thomason each earned All-Big Ten accolades. Both Edwards twins were unanimous first-team All-Big Ten selections in 2013, while Breault repeated as a second-team selection. A pair of underclassmen - Alicia Armstrong and Jordan Bettiol - also garnered second-team All-Big Ten recognition in 2013. In 2014, the Edwards twins repeated as first-team selections, while Armstrong was a repeat second-team pick. Hailey Decker was also a first-team selection and freshman MJ Knighten earned a spot on the second team. Knighten was one of six unanimous first-team All-Big Ten selections in 2015, while Kiki Stokes and Steph Pasquale were also named to the first team. All three of those hitters - along with Cassie McClure - were also first-team all-region honorees.
Prior to coming to Lincoln, Miller spent the previous eight seasons as an assistant coach at Colorado State, where she served as the Rams’ hitting coach, recruiting coordinator and camps director, while also instructing the catchers. A total of 14 school offensive records fell during Miller’s eight seasons. Each of the Rams’ top-five single-season marks for doubles, home runs and slugging percentage were established during Miller’s tenure.
On the conference level, Colorado State established a total of 44 MWC offensive records while Miller was at the school. Additionally, the Rams led the league in doubles three times, batting average and slugging percentage twice and hits and total bases once.
Nationally, CSU featured one of the country's most powerful offensive attacks in Miller's final three seasons. Colorado State was the only team in the country to rank in the top 20 nationally in home runs per game, doubles per game and slugging percentage every year from 2006 to 2008. The Rams also ranked in the top 20 nationally in average three times in her last four seasons, including a pair of top-five finishes.
Over her last five years, Colorado State displayed power and a knack for scoring runs that was nearly unmatched in Division I. In the final 2008 NCAA statistical rankings, Miller’s last Colorado State team ranked fourth in Division I in home runs per game (1.33), sixth in doubles per game (1.69), seventh in slugging percentage (.522), ninth in scoring (5.92 runs per game) and 14th in batting average (.313).
The Rams ranked among the nation’s top home run-hitting clubs for the fourth time in five seasons in 2008. Miller had previously guided CSU to final home run rankings of fifth in 2007, 11th in 2006 and eighth in 2004, as the Rams slugged at least 53 home runs in each of those seasons. In Miller's last five years, Colorado State averaged more than 55 home runs per season. Prior to Miller’s arrival, no Colorado State team had ever hit more than 25 home runs in a season in 26 years of Ram softball.
Colorado State also ranked in the top 20 nationally for doubles in four of her last five seasons, while Miller’s hitters produced the Rams’ eight highest single-season doubles totals in school history, including a school-record 96 in 2004. Miller's last five teams averaged nearly 85 doubles per season, while prior to her arrival, no Colorado State team had ever recorded 70 doubles in a season.
The Rams averaged more than five runs per game over her final five seasons. The offense produced at least 220 runs in each of the past five years while producing four seasons with more than 265 runs, including 302 runs scored in only 51 games in 2008.
Prior to entering the coaching profession, Miller was a three-time All-America catcher at Missouri Southern State College and led her team to an NCAA Division II national championship in 1992. In the fall of 2002, Miller was inducted into the Missouri Southern State College Hall of Fame along with every member of the championship team. In November of 2003, she was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame as an individual student-athlete.
Miller earned her undergraduate degree in education from Missouri Southern in 1992, and later received her master's of arts degree from the University of Nebraska-Omaha in 1995. She received her first coaching job at UNO from Mary Yori, the older sister of Nebraska women’s basketball head coach Connie Yori. After taking six years off from coaching while continuing to work in collegiate athletics, Miller rejoined Mary Yori as an assistant coach at Colorado State beginning with the 2000 season.