|Position:||Head Women's Basketball Coach|
Katie Meier completed her 10th season as the head coach of the Hurricanes’ women’s basketball program in 2014-15. A well known and respected figure in women’s basketball, Meier has worked tirelessly to put her mark on Miami’s program and to build a winning tradition.
In 2014-15, Meier guided her team to a sixth consecutive postseason, a fourth trip to the NCAA Tournament in the last five years, and a fifth 20-plus win season in the last six years, all program records.
In January 2014, Meier was named a co-recipient of the 2013 USA Basketball National Coach of the Year award after leading the USA U19 team to a gold medal and perfect 9-0 record at the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship.
All of her hard work was rewarded after the 2010-11 season when she was named the Associated Press National Coach of the Year - sharing the award with Connecticut’s Geno Auriemma and Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer.
Meier led the Hurricanes into the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2004 and its win over Gardner-Webb in the first round was the first tournament win for the ‘Canes since 1993. Miami entered the 2010-11 season with high internal expectations, but was picked eighth in the Preseason ACC Poll and coming off a season in which it was the No. 12 seed in the ACC Tournament.
However, the Hurricanes exceeded all of the outside expectations and, at one point, won 17 straight games. They were a perfect 20-0 inside the BankUnited Center and finished 12-2 in ACC play - earning their first regular season conference title since joining the league in 2004. As a reward, Meier was named the ACC Coach of the Year and later would be selected as the WBCA/RUSSELL ATHLETIC Region 2 Coach of the Year, as voted on by her peers.
Meier continued that success into the 2011-12 season, a year in which the Canes accomplished many firsts for the program.
Miami defeated Maryland - the eventual ACC Tournament champ - twice during the regular season, the first when they were ranked No. 5 in the nation. It was the first time in program history that the Hurricanes had defeated a Top 5 team. Later in the year, UM ascended to its highest ranking ever, also at No. 5.
The Hurricanes have proved to be formidable on the court inside the BankUnited Center, as the 2011-12 season saw Miami go undefeated at home for the second consecutive season. Their 16-0 mark on the year pushed the Canes record home win streak to 40 consecutive games. Only Stanford ended the season with a longer active streak.
For her dedication to the University of Miami and the athletic department, Meier was signed to a two-year contract extension, securing the Wheaton, Ill., native through the 2017-18 season. Prior to the 2014-15 season, Meier received another extension, through the 2020-21 campaign, and donated $75,000 back to the school to go towards women’s athletics as well as challenged to community to contribute too.
Five people who have been assistants for Meier during her head coaching career have gone on to earn Division I head coaching positions: Lynn Bria (Stetson), Amanda Butler (Florida), Darrick Gibbs (North Florida), Carolyn Kieger (Marquette), and Stephanie McCormick (Western Carolina).
Through the 2014-15 season, Meier has a career record of 259-179, including a 183-134 mark at Miami.
A New Era
Hired April 19, 2005, Meier was appointed by then Miami AD Paul Dee in front of national and local media, fans, alumni and support staff, signifying the beginning of a new era.
Following an unprecedented career as one of the greatest athletes to ever play in the Atlantic Coast Conference, Meier quickly established herself in the coaching ranks. Following an impressive four-year tenure as the head coach at Charlotte where she helped bring the 49er program into national prominence, Meier made it clear that her goal was to make Miami one of the premier women’s basketball programs in the country.
Creating a Winning Program
In her first season, Meier wasted little time in making the first steps towards those goals. After receiving little attention in the ACC preseason polls, the Hurricanes posted an impressive overall record of 17-13. Fighting through a conference that would send nine teams to the postseason, including three to the NCAA Final Four. Miami finished with a sixth-place, 6-8 record in ACC play en route to earning a berth into the second round of the 2006 Women’s National Invitation Tournament.
Throughout the season Miami posted wins over ranked teams such as Mississippi (No. 25), Boston College (No. 21) and Virginia Tech (No. 25) and nearly knocked off then-No. 1 Duke in double-overtime. The Hurricanes also recorded wins over two eventual conference champions in Hartford (America East) and Oakland (Mid-Continent). Under her direction, standout Tamara James produced one of the greatest seasons ever seen by a UM player in 2005-06 becoming the Miami’s all-time leading scorer and selected as the No. 8 overall pick in the 2006 WNBA Draft by the Washington Mystics.
In Meier’s second season in 2006-07, the Hurricanes got off to a strong start, winning seven of their first eight games--including a 79-70 win over Indiana to claim the UM Thanksgiving Tournament title. On Dec. 1, Meier picked up her 100th career victory as the Hurricanes defeated Jackson State, 77-50. However, with only eight healthy players to call upon by the start of the ACC schedule, Miami faced challenge after challenge competing in a league that ranked among the top-three strongest women’s basketball conferences nationally and produced two of the NCAA Tournament’s four No. 1 seeds in 2006-07.
Renee Taylor emerged as the ACC’s leading scorer--upholding Miami’s streak of producing the league’s leading scorer in all three years it had been a member. The All-ACC Second Team selection set school records in single-game scoring with 42 points at Houston and becoming the 19th Hurricane to score at least 1,000 points--and just the sixth to do so in her first two seasons. In addition, transfer Maurita Reid emerged as a defensive threat, tying the school record with 10 steals versus Wake Forest and finishing among the ACC’s leaders and NCAA’s top 10 in steals per game.
The 2007-08 season, Meier’s third with the Hurricanes, saw Maurita Reid continue her rise among the ACC elite. The senior was nothing short of impressive shooting beyond the arc and picking opponent’s pockets. She hit four or more three-pointers on 10 different occasions and finished the season with 110 steals, good for second in the conference and fifth in the NCAA.
The Queens, N.Y. native led the team in points (15.3 ppg) and rebounding (5.6 rpg) and was also named to the ACC All-Defensive Team.
With a No. 21 incoming recruiting class, Meier and the Hurricanes saw significant improvement during the 2008-09 season. The freshman class was highlighted by McDonald’s All-American Shenise Johnson - out of Henrietta, N.Y. - and Riquna Williams - from nearby Pahokee, Fla.
Johnson lived up to the hype as she was the team leader on the season in points, rebounds, assists and steals. Under Meier’s guidance, Johnson was named the ACC Rookie of the Week on three occasions and was named to the ACC All-Freshmen team as well as ACC Honorable Mention. The versatile guard/forward also led the U19 USA team to a gold medal finish in the 2009 World Championships in Bangkok, Thailand.
The 2009-10 season was one of the most successful in program history. Under Meier’s vision, the Hurricanes advanced to the WNIT Championship game. Miami posted a 22-14 overall record - the first 20-win campaign since the 2002-03 season and just the eighth all-time in history.
In her sophomore season, Johnson was joined by a healthy Riquna Williams and the duo racked up accolades throughout the season. Johnson was named first team All-ACC, while Williams garnered second-team honors. The tandem led Miami to a 5-1 WNIT record - the deepest postseason run in team history - with both earning all-tournament honors along the way.
Following the 2009-10 campaign, then University of Miami Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt announced that Meier signed a contract extension through 2015.
“We are excited about the tremendous progress our women’s basketball team achieved this past season,” said Hocutt. “Coach Meier continues to assemble a special group of talented young women at the University of Miami and we look forward to the future success of our program.”
Miami’s success proved to be immediate, as it earned a conference regular season title in 2010-11 and returned to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in seven seasons.
Johnson and Williams proved to be the All-America candidates that they were expect to come. In fact, Johnson was named to four different All-America squads, including the prestigious WBCA/State Farm Coaches’ All-America Team. She also earned AP, USBWA and Full Court Press honors and became the second player in program history to be named the conference player of the year (Frances Savage - BIG EAST - 1992). Johnson also garnered All-ACC Defensive Team honors for the second straight season and was named to the ACC Tournament Team. Williams, along with Johnson, was named first team All-ACC and was the conference scoring champion, pouring in 21.7 points per game.
The duo combined for seven ACC Player of the Week accolades on the season as Williams took home the award on four occasions. No other team in the league was recognized more than twice for the weekly honor.
The season also saw the emergence of sophomore forward Morgan Stroman. The 6-1, 2009 McDonald’s All-American matched Johnson for the team lead with 11 double-doubles on the season, as she scored 13.6 points and grabbed 8.2 rebounds per game. For her efforts she was named third team All-ACC.
Miami’s success continued into the 2011-12 season. The Canes finished second in the conference standings with a record of 14-2 and were 26-6 overall. UM also defeated the eventual conference tournament champion - Maryland - both times they battled in the regular season.
Seniors Shenise Johnson and Riquna Williams continued to live up to the hype of being the nation’s top backcourt duo as they were second and third in the league in scoring and each were again named first team All-ACC. The accolade was the third straight honor for Johnson and the second for Williams. Johnson was also named to the All-ACC Defensive Team for the third consecutive season. Johnson earned a place on five different All-America teams, including the WBCA squad for the second straight year. Williams eanred AP All-America third team recognition in her final collegiate campaign as well.
Unfortunately, Morgan Stroman suffered a season-ending injury midway through the conference schedule, leaving a seemingly insurmountable void in the lineup. However, junior guard Stefanie Yderstrom stepped up to the occasion. The native of Sweden ended the season with more three-pointers than any other player in the league as was rewarded with a Third Team All-ACC selection.
Miami once again advanced to the NCAA Tournament as a No. 3 seed. The Canes traveled to Spokane, Wash., and defeated the No. 14 seed, Idaho State in the first round but fell to host Gonzaga in the second.
The Hurricanes went to a school record third straight NCAA Tournament in 2012-13, earning a No. 8 seed. Miami dropped its first round contest to ninth-seeded Iowa, the host school, but picked up two top-10 wins during the season. Meier’s Hurricanes defeated No. 6/7 Penn State and knocked off No. 5/4 Duke on senior day, marking the first win over a team in the top four of either poll in program history and the school’s first win over the Blue Devils, who went 20-1 against ACC opponents that season, including winning the ACC Tournament. Senior forward Morgan Stroman averaged 12.9 points and 8.8 rebounds, while senior guard Stefanie Yderstrom posted 11.7 points per game, and both received First Team All-ACC honors.
After reaching the WNIT in 2014, Meier guided the Hurricanes back to the NCAA Tournament in 2015 and the 11th-seeded Hurricanes defeated No. 6 seed Washington in the first round, before dropping their second round matchup against third-seeded Iowa, the host school. The victory over the Huskies made Meier the first coach in program history to win an NCAA Tournament game in three different years.
Earlier in the 2014-15 season, Miami also led the Hurricanes to the program’s first win over a team in the top four of the AP Poll. They defeated No. 4/4 Notre Dame, 78-63, the Fighting Irish’s only loss in their first two years in the ACC. Sophomore guard Adrienne Motley scored 32 points in the game and went on to be named First Team All-ACC by both the Blue Ribbon Panel and the ACC Coaches after averaging 16.9 points on 49.2 percent shooting. Meier also earned her 250th career win during the season.
Establishing Her Legacy as a Player
Meier’s success as a coach is a direct reflection of her playing career as a standout at Duke University. A four-year letterwinner for the Blue Devils under head coach Debbie Leonard from 1986-90, Meier’s name is scattered throughout the Duke record books.
She currently ranks among the school’s all-time career leaders in scoring average (16.2 points per game), steals (232), free throws made (447) and free throws attempted (624). She is also listed among Duke’s leaders in career points (1,761), field goals made (653), field goals attempted (1,283), assists (409) and rebounding average (6.1 rebounds per game).
Meier wasted no time making her mark at Duke, earning ACC Rookie of the Year and Basketball Yearbook Freshman All-America honors 1986. Meier injured her knee in 1988 during her junior season and ultimately missed the entire 1989 campaign while recovering.
Meier returned to Duke for her senior season in 1990 without missing a beat, earning Kodak/WBCA District 2 All-America and All-ACC first team accolades while being named the Blue Devils’ most valuable player.
In 2002, Meier was honored by Duke for her efforts as a player when she was named to the inaugural induction class in the Blue Devils’ Hall of Honor. That same year Meier was named to the Atlantic Coast Conference’s 50th Anniversary Team. In 2006, she was once again honored by the conference when she was named one of 12 ACC Tournament Legends at the 2006 ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament.
Meier’s success on the court was only outdone by her accomplishments in the classroom. She was named to the Dean’s List from 1986-88. In 1988 she also earned GTE Academic All-America Second Team honors.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in English literature with cum laude honors in 1989, Meier went on to earn a master’s in Teaching English from Duke in 1990.
Following her playing career at Duke, Meier moved overseas to play three seasons with BBC Mini-Flat Waregem in Belgium from 1990-93. There, she helped lead her team to three First Division regular season titles and one Belgian Cup Championship.
While in Belgium, Meier also spent time teaching classes of conversational English while coaching teams of 15- to 17-year-olds.
A native of Wheaton, Ill., Meier graduated from Wheaton High School in 1985 and in October 2009 was inducted into her high school's athletic hall of fame.