Men's Head Basketball Coach
Former Hanover standout Jon Miller begins his ninth season as the Panthers' head coach. He is the 21st coach in Hanover's basketball history and only the third on the Panthers' bench since 1965.
Miller's first eight seasons have been marked by the program's return to its traditionally high standards. After finishing with only nine wins in his initial season, the program has averaged close to 18 wins per season over the last four years. 2015-16 marked the program's 23rd winning season in the last 24 years.
This success has also been the case in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference action. Over the last seven years, his Hanover program has registered the highest win total of any team in the HCAC. His teams have compiled an impressive 85-37 record during this stretch. They are also the only program in the league to qualify for the conference tournament in each of the last eight years and to advance to at least the semi-finals in six of the last seven seasons.
The 2015-16 season concluded with a 14-12 overall record. In HCAC play the team again reached double figure wins finishing with a mark of 12-6 - one game out of first place in the final standings. Four of the team’s seven opponents reached the NCAA tournament.
From 2010 to 2014, Miller’s team averaged 18 wins per season and enjoyed an average finish of second in the regular standing of the 10-team HCAC. During this time, the team has excelled statistically, has finished near the top in several defensive categories, and was one of the nation’s leaders in fewest turnovers per game. The 2012-13 team also led the league in scoring at close to 80 points per game.
Individually, several players over the past eight seasons have been honored as all-conference players and two (Mitchell Meyer and Michael Case) were finalists for the league’s Player of the Year Award. Three players (Meyer, Case and Ryan Nowicki) have joined the 1,000 career-points club. Following both of the last two seasons, Miller’s team has had the HCAC Freshman of the Year (V.J. Billups and Wes McKinney).
Academically, the program has achieved at a high level as well. Miller’s expectations are high for how his players will work to reach their potential in the classroom. The 2014-15 season saw four players named to the NABC Honor (Kyle James, Desmond Marks, Michael Van Kleunen, Evan Bingham) for their performance in the classroom. Following the 2011-12 season, Michael Case was the named the program's first-ever Capital One Academic All-American. In addition, four times a player in the program has been honored with the college's prestigious Most Outstanding Senior Male Athlete Award (Jake Inman, Mitchell Meyer, Michael Case and Ryan Nowicki). This award is presented annually by the college to the senior male athlete who has best combined to achieve both as an athlete in his sport and in the classroom.
Miller returned to his alma mater after five seasons as the head coach at Defiance College (Ohio). During that stretch, he guided the Yellow Jackets from a bottom of the conference finish early in his tenure to the school's first outright Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference championship in the 2007-08 season. The National Association of Basketball Coaches' Midwest District named him coach of the year, as did the Heartland Conference for the accomplishment. Miller's squads posted a 67-63 record during his stint at Defiance, including a 36-17 record through his final two seasons with the program. During his tenure, he recruited two players (Anthony Pettaway and Nick Sales ) who went on to be named HCAC Player of the Year and guards C.J. Johnson and Mike Floyd, who were each four-time All-HCAC performers.
Prior to becoming a head coach, Miller spent four years on the Hanover staff with Coach Mike Beitzel. During his four years on the Panthers' sidelines, Miller helped the program earn three consecutive Heartland Conference championships and a berth in the NCAA III national tournament. The 2002-03 team finished the season at 27-2, which stands as the best winning percentage in college history. Miller’s recruiting classes during the stretch included two NABC All-American’s (Thad McCracken and Matt Moore) and two HCAC Players of the Year (McCracken and Moore). That group of players qualified for three straight NCAA tournaments and was consistently ranked in the top-10 in the country.
Miller got his start in coaching following his collegiate playing career, serving as the top assistant at DePauw University from 1997 to 1999. His recruiting and coaching efforts over that two-year stint produced one NABC All-American and two conference players of the year. His recruits formed the core of DePauw’s most successful team in the last 25 years, which finished 24-4 and in the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament.
Prior to beginning his coaching career Miller enjoyed a fine career as a four-year starter and three-time all-conference selection at Hanover during the mid-1990s. Voted the team's most valuable player after the 1996-97 campaign, Miller helped the Panthers earn NCAA tourney appearances in both 1995 and 1996. A two-time team captain, he was also a three-year recipient of the Hanover Scholar-Athlete Award and the college honored him as the Most Outstanding Senior Male Athlete in 1997. In addition to basketball, Miller also played four years of baseball, earning the team's most valuable player award in 1996.
He and his wife, Angela, a 1997 Hanover graduate and former volleyball and track standout, reside in Madison, Ind., with their children Luke, Jack and Audrey.
Bachelor's degree: Mathematics, Hanover College, 1997; Master's degree: Recreation and Sports Management, Indiana State University, 1999.