Miles, who re-enters to coaching ranks on the cusp of 400 career wins (399-334), brings over 24 years of head coaching experience with him to the South Bay, most recently at the University of Nebraska where he led the Cornhuskers from 2012-2019.
SAN JOSE, Calif. (San Jose State Athletics) — After a nationwide search, San José State University has named Tim Miles head coach of the men’s basketball program. San José State Director of Athletics Marie Tuite made the announcement on Tuesday.
“I am so thrilled to announce Tim Miles as our new head men’s basketball coach and welcome him and his wife, Kari, daughter Ava, son Gabe and “Sammy” (family dog) to the Spartan Family,” Tuite said. “Going into this national search, my top priorities were to find someone that not only had head coaching experience, but also had success in building programs. Coach Miles fits that description perfectly. If you look at the job he did at Colorado State and Nebraska, you will see that he completely changed the culture of those programs and elevated each program to new heights. I have full confidence that he is going to the same here at San José State.”
Miles, who re-enters to coaching ranks on the cusp of 400 career wins (399-334), brings over 24 years of head coaching experience with him to the South Bay, most recently at the University of Nebraska where he led the Cornhuskers from 2012-2019. During his time in Lincoln, Nebraska saw unprecedented success as they were guided to some of their most successful seasons in program history. In 2014, just two seasons after being hired, Miles led the team to their first NCAA Tournament in 16 seasons. He was named the Jim Phelan Award winner for national coach of the year and was also tabbed as the Big Ten Coach of the Year.
“I’m excited to join President Mary Papazian, Marie Tuite, Charlie Faas and the San José State Athletic Department,” Miles said. “I have been most impressed with their genuine enthusiasm and eagerness of the entire administration and staff to elevate the men’s basketball program. I’m ready to raise the bar and work arm and arm with Marie to make our basketball program a team that will compete at the highest level of the Mountain West Conference and beyond.
“I can’t wait to get on campus to meet the team, begin assembling our staff and recruiting the type of player that will match our expectations for winning basketball.”
That 2013-14 season made Nebraska the talk of college basketball after reaching the tournament despite being selected to finish last in the Big Ten standings in the preseason poll. The Cornhuskers overcame a 1-5 start in conference play by winning 10 out of their last 12 games to finish fourth in the standings with an 11-7 record. Among those wins was a 60-51 victory over No. 9 Michigan State, the program’s first road win over a top-10 program since 1997, and a 77-68 defeat of Wisconsin, who would later go on to advance to the 2014 Final Four.
The turnaround at Nebraska began immediately under Miles’ wing with the Cornhuskers seeing a three-win improvement from 12 to 15 wins in the 2012-13 year. With just one returning starter, Miles and company defeated three NCAA Tournament teams and finished the year off with a victory over Purdue in the Big Ten Tournament.
After the success of the Huskers’ NCAA Tournament appearance in 2013-14, the following season saw more firsts for the Nebraska program as they achieved a national ranking for the first time since 1995.
In 2017-18, Miles led the Cornhuskers to one of their most successful seasons in program history. Nebraska won 22 games, their most since the 1990-91 campaign, with a school record 13 wins in conference play and earned a bid to the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) for their first postseason appearance in four seasons.
In Miles’ final season at Nebraska, the Huskers won 19 games and earned another top-25 ranking in the Associated Press poll. They advanced to their second-straight NIT appearance.
In his seven total seasons at the helm of Nebraska men’s basketball, Miles guided nine players to All-Big Ten accolades including two-time all-conference pick Terran Petteway, who became the first Husker in program history to win the Big Ten scoring title in 2013-14 with an average of 18.1 points per game.
In addition to being a premier talent at building programs, Miles also demands excellence from his student-athletes in the classroom. He guided 17 Nebraska players to Academic All-Big Ten honors, including a conference-best five selections in 2015. In 2014-15, Shamian Shields became the first player in program history to earn first-team Academic All-American honors.
Prior to his extended stint at Nebraska, Miles made a name for himself at Colorado State where he took the Rams to new heights and laid the foundation for what is now one of the top teams in the Mountain West. In five seasons at the helm, he increased his win total in each season with his best year being the 2011-12 campaign that saw CSU defeat a school-record three ranked teams en route to their first 20-plus win season since 1997-98. The Rams finished with a 20-12 record, put three players on the all-conference team, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in nine years. For his efforts, Miles was named the District VIII Coach of the Year by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.
The 2011-12 Colorado State team averaged 70.1 points per game and was the Mountain West leader in field goal percentage (47.1), 3-point percentage (40.0) and free throw percentage (76.8). They also were one of just two programs nationwide to rank in the top 10 in both free throw and 3-point percentage. The Rams’ 20-win campaign was just the seventh in program history.
Similar to what he would eventually do at Nebraska, Miles quickly turned the Colorado State program around from his first day on campus. His first two seasons saw the Rams battle through growing pains and injuries while still making strides towards becoming the program that it is today. Colorado State improved their win total in league play in Miles’ second season and finished the year off with a key victory over Wyoming in the Mountain West Tournament.
Years three through five were some of the most successful for the Rams in recent history, culminating in CSU’s NCAA Tournament bid in 2011-12. In 2009-10, Miles led the Rams to their first postseason appearance in seven years after posting 16 regular-season wins. Colorado State was selected to participate in the College Basketball Invitational (CBI), and Miles was named the Mountain West Coach of the Year by CollegeInsider.com.
The 2010-11 team finished in fourth place in the Mountain West after posting the program’s first winning record since 2007. The Rams finished the year 19-13 and earned a berth to the NIT for their second-straight postseason appearance. Miles and company won nine conference games that year, the most for the Rams since the formation of the Mountain West in 1999-2000, and received votes in the top-25 national poll at year’s end for the first time since 2005-06.
Before going to CSU, Miles was the head coach of the Bison of North Dakota State for six seasons, where he guided the program through their transition to Division I. The Bison reached at least 16 wins in each of Miles’ final five seasons at the helm. One of their biggest moments came in 2005-06 against 13th ranked Wisconsin. North Dakota State handed the Badgers a 62-55 loss, snapping Wisconsin’s 27-game win streak against non-conference opponents. The loss was also just one of 10 non-conference home losses for the Badgers under hall of fame coach Bo Ryan. Miles was awarded the CBS Sportsline Division I Independent Coach of the Year and was a finalist for the Hugh Durham Mid-Major Coach of the Year Award.
Miles was also the catalyst for turning around Southwest Minnesota State University, who he guided for four seasons before joining North Dakota State. Prior to Miles’ arrival, the Mustangs had just one winning season in the previous decade. Miles changed all of that by posting a 78-39 four-year total, including a program-record 28-win season in 2001. The Mustangs won the 2001 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Championship as well as the NCAA North Central Regional Championship before advancing to the Division II Elite Eight. Miles was named the NSIC and North Central Region Coach of the Year Awards for his unprecedented success.
Miles made his head coaching debut as the head man at Mayville (N.D.) State University. The program was just 4-44 in the previous two seasons before Miles took over, and in the first of many instance of changing a program’s culture, he was able to turn things around and led them to a 35-22 record in three seasons. Miles was inducted into the Mayville State Hall of Fame in 2016.
Before reaching the head coaching ranks, Miles made his coaching debut as an assistant at Northern State. He spent six seasons on staff from 1989-90 to 1994-95, helping lead the program to five NAIA playoff appearances and five regional titles. As the team’s recruiting coordinator, he brought in and molded five All-Americans and helped the Wolves advance to the NAIA National Championship in back-to-back seasons.
A native of Doland, S.D., Miles graduated from the University of Mary in Bismarck, N.D., in 1989. He then earned his master’s degree in health and physical education from Northern State in 1990. In 2007, he was inducted into the University of Mary Hall of Fame.
Following his stint at Nebraska Miles took a brief two-year pause from coaching, turning in his whistle for a microphone. He began working with the Big Ten Network, Fox Sports and FS1 as an analyst in 2019 and also lent his talents to a podcast called “Inside the Mind of Miles” as part of the “Field of 68” college basketball media network.
Miles and his wife, Kari, have one daughter, Ava, and one son, Gabe. They have a yellow lab, appropriately named Sammy.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT TIM MILES
Tom Osborne, College Football Hall of Fame Head Coach of Nebraska Football and Former University of Nebraska Athletic Director
“Tim is a very solid and experienced basketball coach. He’s coached at three different levels beginning at the lowest level of college athletics. He was very successful here at the University of Nebraska. He’s a very engaging person and people will like him. He’s very honest and a family man, and he treats his players well. I think that San José State’s experience with him will be outstanding.”
Mick Cronin, UCLA Men’s Basketball Head Coach
“Tim Miles is a friend and a great coach. His accomplishments speak for themselves. He is a veteran coach and a proven winner. What a great hire for San José State.”
Niko Medved, Colorado State University Men’s Basketball Head Coach and 2021 Mountain West Coach of the Year
“Tim Miles is a home run hire for San José State and the Mountain West. He will bring instant credibility and an unmatched energy to that program. As a friend, I am so happy to have him back on the sidelines, but as a competitor, I know how tough playing San José State will be.”
Craig Smith, University of Utah Men’s Basketball and former Utah State Men’s Basketball Head Coach
“San José State made a home run hire. Coach Miles is the total package and this man can flat out coach. He has tremendous energy and enthusiasm that is contagious for everyone he comes into contact with. He is a proven winner and understands how to build championship level programs. Above all he is tremendous person with a wonderful family. San José State men’s basketball is in tremendous hands.”
John Beilein, former University of Michigan Men’s Basketball and Cleveland Cavaliers Head Coach
“Tim Miles is a fabulous basketball coach. He knows the game, works very hard and his student-athletes play both hard and smart for him. He is also an outstanding person who values the right things in life. San José State fans should get ready for an exciting brand of winning basketball. Tim will get it done!”
Brad Underwood, University of Illinois Men’s Basketball Head Coach
“What a fantastic hire for SJSU. A proven winner at every stop he has made. Tim has proven to be one of America’s elite recruiters from all parts of the country. A dynamic personality who will bring a winning mentality to San José State University.
Isaiah Roby, former University of Nebraska Men’s Basketball Player and NBA Draft Pick
“Coach Miles had a huge impact on the player I am today. He would push me to be better everyday and he would never let me settle for less as a player because he saw my potential. He built a good relationship with me and my family from the very first time he called me in the recruiting process. He shared his vision of what type of player and man I would become if I played for him and his staff. Under Coach Miles, I learned what it meant to work hard towards a goal, and I also had some of the most fun times of my life competing on the court in both games and practices with my teammates. I’m looking forward to watching him back on the sidelines at San José State.”