Dec. 7, 2005
Liz Miller, former head softball coach at the University of Notre Dame, was inducted into the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame on Dec. 2, 2005, at the NFCA’s yearly coaches clinic in Orlando, Fla.
Miller retired from coaching in 2001 after a highly successful stint with the Fighting Irish. Her final team in ’01 set the bar for the future of Notre Dame softball, as the squad won a school record 54 games while losing just seven, was ranked as high as eighth in the country and earned the program’s first #1 seed in the NCAA Championship. Four members of the 2001 Irish squad earned National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-America honors, three were chosen for the United States National Softball Team and two were named to the Verizon Academic All-America First Team.
Over the course of her nine years at Notre Dame, Miller led the team to nine conference regular-season titles, earned five conference coach-of-the-year awards, and compiled a 376-156 (.707) record. Combined with her 17-year record at Lake Michigan College (1975-91), Miller won 917 career games, lost just 298, claimed 21 conference titles and posted 13 consecutive winning seasons. While at Notre Dame, the Irish won over 30 games every season of her tenure and made six NCAA Championship appearances.
Most of the major Notre Dame softball records were established during the Miller era and she coached 10 All-Americans, 14 Academic All-Americans, 25 NFCA All-Mideast Region selections, 27 All-BIG EAST First Team selections and 13 All-Midwestern Collegiate Conference selections.
Miller became just the second softball coach in Notre Dame school history in 1993 and built off the success of former head coach and current Notre Dame assistant athletic director Brian Boulac, who began the program in 1989. Miller constructed a nationally-respected program, bringing talented players in from as far away as Connecticut and Hawaii. Her aggressive scheduling took the Irish to numerous early season tournaments, including the traditional yearly trek to the highly prestigious Kia Klassic tournament in Fullerton, Calif. (in which the Irish finished third last season).
Miller came to Notre Dame from Lake Michigan College, where she implemented the women’s athletic program and served as the head coach for basketball, volleyball and softball. The LMC Hall of Fame inductee posted an unprecedented 1047-331 (.760) combined record in all three sports, including a stellar 541-142 (.792) mark in softball. Her success at the junior college level led to her induction into the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Coaches Hall of Fame in 1999.
She began her athletic career at Western Michigan University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1969 and a master’s degree in counseling and personnel in 1971. She played both field hockey and volleyball at WMU, while also spending six summer on an American Softball Association travel softball team. While at WMU, Miller presided over the Women’s Recreation Association and has since been named to the Western Michigan Athletic Hall of Fame.