Sports | Women's Basketball

Duke women's basketball promotes Miller to assistant coach, Brown transitions to special assistant

When head coach Joanne P. McCallie begins her 11th season on the Duke sideline this year, she will have a slightly different supporting cast working alongside her.

McCallie announced Monday that video coordinator Sam Miller will be elevated to assistant coach, with longtime assistant Al Brown transitioning to a role as a special assistant. R.J. Hunter—not to be confused with the 2015 NBA first-round draft pick by the same name—will take over for Miller as video coordinator.

Brown has been a coach for 11 different Division I men's and women's teams in his career, beginning as a men's assistant at Purdue in 1967 and winning three national titles as an assistant under Pat Summitt at Tennessee. His only head coaching stint was for five years at Ball State in the 1980s, and he has worked under McCallie for the last 13 years dating back to her time at Michigan State.

In his new role, Brown will remain on the bench and travel with the team as a strategic advisor, but will not be allowed to do any on-court coaching and go on the road recruiting.

"The specialist role for him is absolutely fantastic. It also gives him a chance to do more talks across the country," McCallie said in a press release. "I have joked with him very seriously about him starting his book as I think he has a lot to offer back to the game. He can consult with us, watch our practices, help with us with scouting and all he has done in the past.”

Miller joined the program in the middle of the 2015-16 season, taking over for Lauren Rice as the video coordinator, and will now join Hernando Planells and Rene Haynes on the assistant coaching staff.

"His love is coaching, and he has always wanted to move in that direction," McCallie said. "He has been a very active recruiter for us already, establishing relationships and just doing a great job.”

Duke hired Hunter away from his video specialist job at Pacific on the West Coast.

The new staff will be put to the test in two weeks, when the Blue Devils travel to Italy to play three games on their preseason tour.


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