Young fast pitch softball players around the area have an opportunity to learn the basics of the game from a Div. I college coach.
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi head softball coach Blake Miller is hosting the TAMUCC Islander Softball Skill Clinic at the Alice High School Lady Coyotes Softball Complex Wednesday. There is a session for players between 6 and 10 from 1 to 3 p.m. A second session for 11 to 18 year olds is set for 5 to 7:30 p.m.
The registration fee for the clinic is $25 and registration forms will be available at the softball field just before the clinic. Players are asked to bring their own glove, bat, helmet and water bottle.
Alice High School softball coach Janay Gonzalez said learning from a top-notch college coach such as Miller is a unique opportunity for area girls.
Gonzalez should know. Miller was the Texas A&M University-Kingsville head coach during her four years playing for the Javelinas between 2008 and 2011.
“He’s a really awesome coach,” Gonzalez said. “He’s going to go over hitting and fielding and all of the basics of softball. It’s a good clinic for girls getting ready for travel ball and ball softball leagues.”
Miller took over the Islanders’ softball program after the 2016 season. He brought with him a wealth of knowledge of a knack for winning.
Before coming to Corpus Christi, Miller spent the previous three years at the helm of the Virginia program. Miller saw improvement in each of his three seasons in Charlottesville, Va., taking the Cavaliers to a tenure-best 18 wins in 2016, which followed 12 victories in 2015 and six in 2014.
Miller's tenure at Virginia was highlighted by a stellar hitting season in 2015, when the Cavaliers recorded the school's single-season home run record with 55 long balls.
Prior to his spell on the East Coast, Miller served as an assistant coach at Oregon for three years. With the Ducks, he helped guide the Green and Yellow to three consecutive regional championships, making three straight Super Regional appearances, and earning the program's first Pac-12 Championship in 2013.
During his time in Eugene, Ore., Miller helped lead the Ducks to the Women's College World Series and coached then Ducks pitcher and current Islanders pitching coach Brittany Rumfelt. As the team's hitting coach he guided Oregon to school records in home runs, batting average, runs and slugging.
Miller found success early at the helm of the A&M-Kingsville program. After taking over for the 2008 season, the rookie skipper posted a 22-33 record, before besting that mark by 11 games in 2009 to finish 32-22. During his final season with the Javelinas, Miller's team set the school record for batting average (.306), slugging (.470), home runs (34) and on-base percentage (.385).
He began his head coaching career at Darton State College in Albany, Ga. Miller finished his two-year stint with a 66-44 record and a bid to the 2006 NJCAA Division I World Series. Miller's career has also included stops at Colorado Mesa and East Tennessee State.
In addition to an impressive coaching career, Miller represented the United States for 10-years on the national fastpitch team, which included a gold medal at the 2002 Pan-American Qualifier and a silver medal at the 2003 Pan-American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Miller was a four-year starter at the UNC-Pembroke, where he earned his bachelor's degree in psychology in 2000. In 2003, he received his master's degree in business.