The search ended Tuesday when the Hurricanes announced that they hired Katie Meier to fill the vacant women’s basketball head coaching position.
Meier comes to the University of Miami from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where she took the 49ers to three consecutive postseason appearances. The 49ers have been to the WNIT the past two seasons and made one NCAA Tournament appearance. She led Charlotte to an overall record of 76-45 over four seasons.
Meier becomes just the seventh head coach in UM women’s basketball history, taking over for Ferne Labati, who was released of her coaching duties at the end of the season. While the Hurricanes did struggle to a 13-16 record last season, Labati left Meier with plenty to work with. The Hurricanes will return all but two players next season, including star forward Tamara James.
“I feel that this is the perfect fit for me,” Meier said. “With the strong emphasis on academics, along with the already strong background in athletics, the University of Miami has all the potential to become one of the nation’s elite programs.”
Meier worked as an associate coach at Tulane and UNC Asheville before becoming Charlotte’s head coach four seasons ago. She will be expected to make the Hurricanes an elite team and is ready to face that challenge.
“I just met the players and I tried to share my vision. I’m not scared to dream big, and I let them know that,” Meier said. “My dreams are big, and that has always been the case, but here I see that happening.”
Meier emphasizes leadership, which she said she noticed was prominent in South Florida. She said she understands the pressure of being the head coach-a pressure she embraces.
“I’ll put the pressure on myself. I like pressure; I’m not scared of pressure. We are not going to back down,” Meier said. “I told the players ‘We are going to blow the ceiling off this place,’ and I truly believe that.”
As for the University, Meier’s hiring concludes a brief search. Athletic Director Paul Dee feels that Meier is the right woman for the job.
“We are extremely excited to have found one of the top coaches in the country in Katie Meier,” Dee said. “With what she has been able to accomplish at Charlotte, along with her background and ties within the Atlantic Coast Conference, Katie not only has the potential to make this program one of the best in the ACC but also one of the top programs in the country.”
The goal is a national championship sometime in the near future, and Meier truly believes she can take the Hurricanes to the promised land.
“With the resources that we have, with the institution that we have to sell and the special people we have in place here, I truly believe this can be a national championship job. That is pressure, but I am ready.”
Darren Grossman can be contacted at email@example.com.