Shimmy Gray-Miller completed her third season on Coach Connie Yori's Nebraska staff in 2014-15, after helping the Huskers to three consecutive NCAA Tournament trips.
In 2014-15, Gray-Miller helped the Huskers to a third straight NCAA Tournament berth by finishing with a 21-11 overall mark that included a 10-8 Big Ten record. Nebraska carried a solid inside game that led the Big Ten in defensive rebounding percentage. Senior forward Emily Cady earned second-team All-Big Ten honors for the second straight season, while closing her career as the No. 9 rebounder in conference history. Cady's 1,114 rebounds ranked No. 2 in Nebraska history, while her 115 blocked shots ranked fifth on NU's all-time list. The versatile Cady also finished in a tie for 11th with 305 career assists at Nebraska - the most by any post player in school history. Cady closed her career with 1,461 points to rank 13th in Husker history while becoming the first Nebraska player to achieve the combined career milestones of 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 300 assists.
Cady tied the school record with 132 career starts, while ranking second school history in career minutes.
Gray-Miller also helped three-year starting wing player Hailie Sample make the move to power forward as a senior. Sample, who enter the season as a 41.6 percent field goal shooter over her career, set the Nebraska school record and ranked second in the Big Ten by hitting 61.1 percent of her shots in 2014-15. The 6-1 Sample also closed her career ranked 10th in Nebraska history with 717 career rebounds. Sample also tied for third in Nebraska history with 131 career starts.
Nebraska was ranked in the AP and USA Today Top 25 throughout nearly the entire regular season before a late-season injury to All-America point guard Rachel Theriot slowed the Huskers down the stretch. NU still finished No. 36 in the final NCAA RPI in 2014-15.
In 2013-14, Gray-Miller helped Nebraska to its first-ever conference tournament title by reeling off three straight wins at the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis. The Huskers, who finished with the second-best winning percentage in school history (.788), added a first-round win over Fresno State in the NCAA Tournament on their way to a 26-7 overall record. NU also won 12 regular-season Big Ten games and played for a share of the conference title on the final day of the season for the second straight year.
Nebraska finished with the second-highest national rankings in school history (No. 13 AP/No. 17 USA Today), while closing the year at No. 19 in the RPI. The Huskers also ranked No. 11 nationally in average home attendance in their first season in the spectacular Pinnacle Bank Arena. The Huskers actually ranked No. 8 nationally in total attendance with more than 110,000 fans flocking to the new arena to watch Nebraska tie the school record with 16 home wins in 2013-14.
In her second season as Nebraska's post coach, Gray-Miller guided Jordan Hooper to first-team WBCA All-America honors. Hooper, who finished No. 2 at Nebraska in all-time points (2,357) and No. 3 in career rebounds (1,110), was the 2014 Big Ten Player of the Year. Hooper was also the No. 13 overall pick of the Tulsa Shock in the 2014 WNBA Draft.
While Hooper produced one of the finest senior seasons in school history with 20.4 points and 9.1 rebounds per game, Cady continued her impressive career as a junior. The 6-2 forward matched Hooper with 14 double-doubles on the season, as they became the first duo in Nebraska history to post double-digit double-doubles in the same season. Cady's 9.2 rebounds per game ranked third in the Big Ten, just ahead of Hooper. Cady added 12.7 points per game, while also leading Nebraska in blocked shots (27) and field goal percentage (.495). One of the best passing forwards in the nation, Cady also ranked second among the Huskers with 102 assists.
With Hooper, Cady and Sample leading the Huskers on the glass, Nebraska produced the No. 4 team rebounding margin (+5.5 rpg) in school history in 2013-14. With 15 rebounds in the Big Ten Championship Game victory over No. 23 Iowa, Sample helped the Huskers produce a plus-31 (58-27) edge on the class over the Hawkeyes. Sample, who has started 100 straight games alongside Cady, finished the season ranked 15th in the Big Ten with 6.4 rebounds per game, while earning a spot on the Big Ten All-Defensive Team.
As a team, Nebraska finished with the highest defensive rebounding percentage (.745) in the Big Ten.
Gray-Miller also excelled in three seasons as Nebraska's recruiting coordinator. NU's 2014-15 signing class ranked No. 8 nationally by ESPN, as the highest-ranked class in Husker history. It included the most prominent recruit in school history, 6-4 forward Jessica Shepard. The No. 1 post and No. 3 overall high school senior in the country according to ESPN heading into the 2014-15 season, Shepard led the USA Basketball U18 National Team to gold at the FIBA Americas Championship in the summer of 2014. Shepard was the Nebraska Gatorade High School Player of the Year in 2013 and 2014 before suffering a torn ACL early in her senior season at Fremont High School.
Maddie Simon, a 6-2 guard from Lincoln Pius X, captured the 2015 Nebraska Gatorade High School Player of the Year honor in 2015. An outstanding all-around athlete, Simon led Pius X to the Class B state championship in 2015.
Rachel Blackburn, who was ranked as one of the top-20 high school post players in the nation by several recruiting services, rounded out the Husker class. The 6-4 Blackburn led Leavenworth to the Kansas Class 5A state championship for the second straight year in 2015.
The 2014-15 signing class, joined a 2013-14 class that was ranked No. 9 nationally by ESPN. The first top-10 class and just the second top-25 group in school history, Nebraska's 2014-15 class included Jasmine Cincore (Tennessee), Natalie Romeo (California), Darrien Washington (California), Chandler Smith (Washington), junior college transfer Anya Kalenta (Belarus) and walk-on Emily Wood (Kansas).
Gray-Miller, who joined the Nebraska program as an assistant coach in May of 2012, spent the previous seven seasons as the head coach at Saint Louis.
In her first season at Nebraska, Gray-Miller helped the Huskers to one of the best year's in school history, culminating with a trip to the 2013 NCAA Sweet 16. The Huskers finished with a 25-9 overall record that included a 12-4 Big Ten mark. The 25 wins rank third in school history, while the 12 conference wins tied for the second most in NU history.
The Huskers finished No. 16 in the final NCAA RPI, No. 16 in the final NCAA attendance rankings and No. 18 in the final USA Today/Coaches Top 25. It marked the third time in the past four years that the Huskers had earned NCAA Tournament trips and final top-25 national rankings.
Gray-Miller played a lead role in the continued development of Hooper and Cady. Hooper earned first-team All-Big Ten honors for the second straight year by ranking among the conference's top five players in scoring (17.9), rebounding (8.8) and three-pointers made per game (2.4).
Cady added honorable-mention All-Big Ten awards for the second straight year while nearly averaging a double-double in Big Ten play with 9.6 points and 9.3 rebounds per game.
Hooper (8.8 rpg) and Cady (7.9 rpg) both ranked among the top six rebounders in the Big Ten in 2012-13, helping Nebraska develop into one of the conference's top teams on the glass. In Big Ten play, the Huskers led the league in total rebounds (39.9 rpg), while leading the conference with 27.8 defensive boards per game. The Huskers were No. 2 in the Big Ten with their .701 defensive rebound percentage.
Gray-Miller also played a lead role in Nebraska landing Michigan high school all-stater Allie Havers for the 2013-14 campaign. Havers, a 6-5 forward/center from Paw Paw, Mich., was a finalist for Miss Basketball and Miss Volleyball honors in Michigan as a senior and a two-time first-team all-stater as a shortstop/pitcher in softball. As a senior, Havers averaged 19.3 points, 11.4 rebounds, 3.3 blocks, 2.3 steals and 1.5 assists in 2012-13. In her career at Mattawan High School, Havers amassed 1,561 points, 1,015 rebounds and a school-record 348 blocks to go along with 174 steals in 94 games.
"Shimmy is a high-energy person with great character," Yori said. "She is a great fit for our staff and players."
Gray-Miller has experience in making a transition to a new conference, along with experience in helping teams win major conference titles. She also has close ties to the Big Ten.
Gray-Miller was named head coach at Saint Louis in April of 2005 and led the Billikens in their transition to the Atlantic-10 Conference in 2005-06. In her time at Saint Louis, the native of Flint, Mich., led players who earned seven All-A-10 awards, including one A-10 Most Improved Player. One Billiken was also named to the A-10 All-Freshman Team under Gray-Miller.
Her program also excelled off the court. The Billikens earned a pair of CoSIDA Academic All-America honors, while adding three A-10 Scholar-Athlete-of-the-Year awards for women's basketball. Her 2006-07 Billiken team finished 17th with a 3.336 combined GPA in the WBCA Academic Top 25 Team Honor Roll.
In the community, Gray-Miller and the Billiken women's basketball program were routinely one of the leading groups among nearly 200 SLU organizations in community service and first among varsity sports all seven years of her tenure. As a result of her tireless efforts in the community, Gray-Miller was recognized with the Greater Missouri Girl Scouts of America Distinguished Women Leaders Award in 2011.
Prior to her arrival at SLU, Gray-Miller served two seasons (2003-04, 2004-05) as an assistant coach at Arizona. She helped the Wildcats win the first Pac-10 Conference women's basketball title in school history in 2004. Arizona earned NCAA Tournament bids both seasons Gray-Miller was on the bench. Wildcat players Shawntinice Polk and Dee-Dee Wheeler both earned honorable-mention All-America honors and first-team All-Pac-10 awards. Wheeler was chosen with the 26th overall pick in the second round of the 2005 WNBA Draft by the Los Angeles Sparks.
Before heading to Tucson, Gray-Miller spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Washington from 2000-01 to 2002-03.
Gray-Miller helped Washington win the 2001 Pac-10 title and make a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances, including a trip to the NCAA Elite Eight. Gray-Miller helped coach seven All-Pac-10 players in her time in Seattle, including 2003 Pac-10 Player-of-the-Year Giuliana Mendiola and 2001 WNBA Draft pick Megan Franza.
Gray-Miller graduated from Michigan in 1994 with a bachelor's degree in sociology and a minor in law and criminology. She played basketball for the Wolverines, serving as team captain and winning the 1994 Bob Ufer Quarterback Club Award for leadership and dedication. She still ranks on the top 20 career list in several categories. In 1998-99, Gray-Miller played professional basketball for Olivais Futebol Clube, a first-division club team in Coimbra, Portugal.
A graduate of Carman-Ainsworth High School in Flint, Mich., Gray-Miller was a two-sport Michigan All-State athlete. She was inducted into the Carman-Ainsworth Athletics Hall of Fame in 2005, and into the Greater Flint Afro American Hall of Fame in 2014.
Gray-Miller served on the Central Institute of the Deaf (St. Louis) Board of Directors and as a Board Member for Safe Connections Domestic Assault Center (St. Louis).
She is a highly sought after guest speaker and presenter for various organizations including the NCAA Achieving Coaching Excellence workshop, Athens (Greece) Institute of Sport, and the WBCA annual convention. In 2013 and 2014, Gray-Miller was a presenter for the WBCA "So You Want to be a Coach" program at the national convention. In 2013, former Husker graduate assistant Dominique Kelley participated in the program, and in 2014, former Husker Meghin Williams took part in the program.