STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State head coach Jay Miller was recently nominated to the United States Olympic Committee for its Developmental Coach of the Year. The Amateur Softball Association and USA Softball nominated the Bulldogs' sixth-year head coach after he guided the U.S. Junior National Team to the gold medal at the Junior World Championship last summer.
"It's a great honor for our program and the athletic department at Mississippi State. It's also a tribute to the players on that team and my outstanding assistants Cheri Kempf, Suzy Brazney and Barbara Jordan. They did a tremendous job preparing our team to play," Miller said. "I'm very thankful to USA Softball for their support and to the USOC for this award."
Last summer's success in the Netherlands was just the latest for Miller in an impressive international resume that he has built since his first stint with USA Softball from 1992-96 in which he helped in the selection of the team that would represent the Red, White and Blue at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.
As a head coach at the international level, he lead the USA Red squad to a gold medal at the U.S. Cup and the USA Elite team to the 2003 Canada Cup championship following a runner-up showing the year prior. In addition to last summer's run to the World Junior Championship gold medal, Miller captained the Junior Pan-American squad to a perfect 10-0 mark at the Pan-Am Games qualifier.
Along with his head coaching stints, Miller assisted with the USA National Team that claimed gold at the Pacific Rim Sports Summit and the Intercontinental Cup in 2004. He was also on the staff of the U.S. squad that won silver at the 2005 Canada Cup and the World University Games team, including Bulldog shortstop Courtney Bures, which captured the gold medal in Taiwan in 2006.
The 12th-winningest active coach in NCAA Division I history, Miller will coach his 1,500th career game on Saturday when the Bulldogs take on Arkansas. Miller, who has a 924-574 career record and 215-159 mark at MSU, won his 900th career game on Mar. 1. He reached the 200-win plateau at Mississippi State with his team's win over Mississippi on Mar. 21.
He will be inducted into the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame in December as part of the association's 25th anniversary convention on Marco Island, Fla. Miller will be just the third coach from the SEC to join the annals, joining LSU head coach Yvette Girouard and South Carolina coach Joyce Compton.
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State head baseball coach Ron Polk will be recognized for his 29 years at the head of the Diamond Dawg program, Saturday, May 17, during pre-game ceremonies prior to the Bulldogs' regular season finale against Arkansas. A complete schedule of events honoring Polk, who announced his retirement earlier this season, will be released at a later date.
Track & Field
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State track and field squads head to north Mississippi on Saturday, May 3 to take part in Mississippi Open. The meet is being held at the Ole Miss Track and Field Complex on the campus of the University of Mississippi in Oxford.
With less than two weeks remaining until the SEC Championships, the meet will serve as a tune up to the event. Saturday's meet will feature some of the top teams from the region. Teams slated to be there are Alabama, Florida, Southern Miss, Tulane, Vanderbilt, Jackson State and Memphis, as well as several others.
Action kicks off at 11:30 a.m. with the women's javelin, while running events are scheduled to begin at 2:00 p.m. with the women's 5000-meter run.
Heading into the meet, State has several athletes from both teams ranked nationally in their respective events. Sophomore Kendall May is ranked 26th in the nation in the 100-meter dash, after running a personal-best 10.39 seconds at the Ole Miss Invitational last month.
The Bulldogs have four athletes ranked in the 200-meter dash. Senior Jamil Hubbard holds a no. 23 ranking with a personal-best time of 20.92. Freshman O'Neal Wilder is 38th with a personal-best time of 21.08 and May (21.22) and junior John Bailey (21.27) are ranked 66th and 75th, respectively.
Hubbard is also ranked 10th in the nation in the 400-meter dash with a personal-best time of 46.05. Hubbard is the only SEC athlete ranked in the top 10 in the event. In the 800-meter run, senior Chris Woods is ranked seventh with his time of 1:48.40, while senior Golden Coachman joins him in 15th with a time of 1:49.19.
Freshman Emanuel Mayers is ranked 52th this week in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 52.05, while senior Kyle Roberts is ranked 65th with a time of 52.28.
On the relays side, MSU's 4x100-meter relay team is ranked eighth with a time of 39.62, while the 4x400-meter relay team has a sixth-place ranking with a time of 3:05.28. In field events, junior Allen Cassell carries a 26th-place ranking with his jump of seven feet, one-quarter inches in the high jump.
On the women's side, junior Marrissa Harris and sophomore Bridgett Rose are both ranked in the 100-meter hurdles. Harris carries a 22nd-place ranking with her school-record time of 13.44, while Rose is ranked 47th with her personal-best time of 13.68.
The Lady Bulldog 4x100-meter relay picked up their first regional qualifying marks of the season at the Penn Relays last weekend and are ranked 40th with a time of 45.33.
Harris is also ranked 28th in the long jump, with her personal-best jump of 20-04 ¼. Sophomore Wendy Copeland (20-01 ½) and junior Priscilla Gaines (19-08 ¼) are ranked 41st and 80th, respectively.
Action from MState's last regular season meet can followed at MSU's Athletic web site, www.mstateathletics.com.
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Junior college all-American Jacquiese Holcombe from Georgia Perimeter College has signed a national letter of intent with Mississippi State University, as announced Friday by MSU head men's basketball coach Rick Stansbury.
Holcombe, a 6-foot-6, 205-pound forward, averaged 13.4 points and 7.3 rebounds per game this past season as a National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Second Team All-American and Region 17 Player of the Year. An All-Region 17 First Team selection as a sophomore at the Decatur-based school, Holcombe helped lead coach Alfred Barney's 23-12 Jaguars to a third straight NJCAA Tournament appearance after winning the District 10 championship and claiming both the Georgia Junior College Athletic Association (GJCAA) regular season and postseason tournament titles.
Prior to redshirting the 2006-07 campaign at GPC, Holcombe averaged 11.3 points and 6.5 rebounds per contest as a freshman to collect All-Region 17 First Team honors for the 29-8 Jaguars in 2005-06. He capped his collegiate rookie season by receiving the 2006 NJCAA Charles Sesher Sportsmanship Award at the national tournament in Hutchinson, Kan.
Hailing from College Park, Ga., Holcombe averaged 27 points and 11 rebounds per game for coach Floyd McRae as a senior team captain at Creekside High School in Fairburn, Ga. Holcombe's 2004-05 campaign was highlighted by a 40-point, 19-rebound performance against McIntosh High School. In addition to being a two-year starter on the CHS basketball team, Holcombe was a standout track and field performer as a high jumper and 400-meter specialist.
Holcombe joins previously announced Mississippi State men's basketball signees Twany Beckham, Romero Osby and Dee Bost.