DURHAM, N.C. – Duke women’s basketball head coach Joanne P. McCallie has announced staff changes heading into the 2017-18 campaign. Sam Miller has been elevated to assistant coach, RJ Hunter was hired as video coordinator and Al Brown will move to the role of special assistant effective immediately.
Miller joins associate head coach Hernando Planells and assistant coach Rene Haynes as coaches for the Blue Devils under McCallie, after serving as video coordinator at Duke since 2016. Prior to arriving in Durham, N.C., Miller was the assistant men’s basketball coach at Kalamazoo College from 2015 through January of 2016. He was also a graduate assistant coach for the Western Michigan University men’s basketball team from 2011-13.
“Sam is fantastic,” commented McCallie. “He proved a lot about his abilities even as a video coordinator. His love is coaching and he has always wanted to move in that direction. We are very excited about his enthusiasm and also the knowledge he brings offensively to what we are looking to do. We are thrilled. He got married recently and has had a great summer. He has been a very active recruiter for us already, establishing relationships and just doing a great job.”
After being on the sideline as an assistant or head coach on both the men’s and women’s side for the last 50 years, Brown will move to a special assistant role with the Blue Devils. Brown has been alongside McCallie for 13 years at both Duke and Michigan State, while leading their teams to 12 NCAA Tournament selections and four conference championships. Brown will continue to help develop game strategies, break down game film, plan practices, and prepare pregame scouting materials along with counseling and advising members of the program.
“The iconic Coach Brown, a man of incredible experience and knowledge as we know,” said McCallie. “I know it is always a challenge to have change, but the specialist role for him is absolutely fantastic. It also gives him a chance to do more talks across the country. 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.”
Hunter joined Duke after spending the last two seasons as the video specialist with the Pacific women’s basketball team. He also spent a season as the assistant video coordinator at the University of San Francisco during the 2014-15 campaign. Hunter is a graduate of Arkansas with a B.S. in Recreation and Sport Management, while also obtaining a M.A. in Sport Management in May of 2015.
“RJ is one of the more talented video people because he is everywhere,” commented McCallie. “He is always filming and is active with the team. I think RJ is just really excited to be back east, as he is from Arkansas originally. He has already given us a big boost.”
Duke will head to Italy Aug. 14-23 as the Blue Devils will play three contests and tour around the country.