Curt Miller, the openly gay head coach of the Connecticut Sun, has been named the WNBA Coach of the Year by the Associated Press.
The Sun finished second in the Eastern Conference this season, just a game behind the New York Liberty. Their 21-13 record was a seven-game turnaround from the 14-20 record of last season and the best franchise record in five years. The No. 4 Sun will face Brittney Griner and the No. 5 Phoenix Mercury in a single-elimination game on Sunday.
Miller came out publicly as gay on Outsports in 2015, shortly after being hired by the Sun. He was previously the head women’s basketball coach at Bowling Green State University, where he took the team to the NCAA tournament five of his final eight seasons.
In a message on Facebook earlier this week, Miller graciously put the award on the shoulders of his players, assistant coaches and team staff:
I have always believed that coaching awards are team awards. It has been a magical year watching a young and talented group handle so much adversity throughout this season. The players have brought back excitement to the franchise and are true role models on and off the court. I am also truly fortunate to work with an amazing group of assistant coaches. Their work ethic and commitment to our family is remarkable.
I remember talking to Miller years ago, so wary of coming out publicly and what it would do to his personal and professional lives.
Now he is the world’s most successful openly gay male head coach in professional sports, and officially a coach of the year.
To say I’m proud of him for his accomplishments this season is an understatement. Yes, I will be totally biased in this season’s WNBA playoffs... Go Sun go!