SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — It’s one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
The Grand Canyon stood strong in its birthplace and helped put its home on the map – a trait the wonder shares with its newest neighbor
Molly Miller, then Molly Carter, started her journey right here in Springfield as a standout player for Kickapoo High School.
The Chiefs went 110-9 in her four years earning the team two state titles and earning carter three all-state honors.
Not to mention she was valedictorian of her class.
From there, she carried the same determination and success on and off the court to the other side of downtown at Drury University.
In her four years, the Lady Panthers went 112-18 along with two conference titles and four tournament trips – including an elite eight finish in 2007.
She still ranks third all-time in Drury career scoring, second in career assists and second in career steals.
Eventually that playing career would earn her a spot in the GLVC Hall of Fame, the first Drury individual from any sport to earn that honor.
After four years as the marketing director at the Springfield Neurological and Spine Institute, Miller returned to Drury and returned to basketball as an assistant coach.
She held that role for two seasons, including a 2013-14 year where the team finished 27-4 and reached the program’s third elite eight appearance.
But in 2014, Miller was thrust into a new challenge.
She was named Interim Head Coach with no plans of a coaching search.
She had the endorsement the school out of the gate.
It was a nod she had earned with a proven winning track record time and time again, all right here in Springfield – and boy was that the right decision by Drury.
Her six year career record of 180-17 marks a .914 winning percentage – best among any active ncaa women’s basketball head coach.
And in her final act, she set her new bar at perfection.
A 32-0 record and a number one ranking from start to finish for a fourht straight GLVC title and a second straight division two coach of the year nod.
But now the coach known for conquering mountains must cross a canyon, and in doing so leaves Springfield for the first time in her basketball career.
But like the Grand Canyon, Miller’s mark on her home won’t be fading any time soon.