Paul Miller greets former Ashland player Sarah Rymer on her way to the bench during the 64th District Tournament championship game against Boyd County on Feb. 21, 2018. Miller has been hired as Greenup County’s coach.

Paul Miller is a first-time high school head basketball coach, but he’s no stranger to the 16th Region.

“I’ve got more coaching friends around here, shoot, than regular friends,” Miller said Friday, hours after Greenup County High School principal Jason Smith confirmed Miller is the Lady Musketeers’ new coach.

Because of that background, Miller knows where Greenup County’s girls program stands.

“I’m all about challenges,” Miller said. “I think Greenup is a perfect situation to grow. I think they’re ready to take off. I think (former coach) Matt (Gilbert) did some good stuff there, and it just needed some leadership, some stability, and we’re gonna take it in a different direction.”

This winter, if all goes as scheduled, Miller will become the Lady Musketeers’ eighth coach in a span of 12 seasons. He is the latest to undertake the pursuit of Greenup County’s first winning record since 2010-11 — also the last season in which it won the 63rd District Tournament title. The Lady Musketeers were 7-24 this past year.

“I told them in the interview, I don’t have a magic wand,” Miller said. “I’m not gonna sit here and tell you we’re gonna win 30 games, but I will tell you this, the first year you’ll notice a difference in the culture, you’re gonna notice a difference in the effort on the floor, and I expect things to change instantly in that aspect. And that just comes from heart and accountability.”

That message resonated with Greenup County’s search committee, Smith said.

“Coach Miller’s enthusiasm and plan to build our girls program from the youth league to the varsity team set him apart,” Smith said. “He came into the interview with a vision about our girls program which was aligned with what we wanted to see. I have no doubt that he’s going to build a culture that our young ladies are going to want to play for.”

Miller began his coaching career helping Phillip Ratliff on Lawrence County’s boys bench in the late 1990s. He coached at the youth level in Boyd County’s girls system and assisted Bill Bradley on Ashland’s staff from 2015-19.

The Kittens played Greenup County six times in those four seasons, all of which were Ashland victories by double digits.

Miller also developed the Kentucky Bluegrass Ballers AAU program and ran it for 12 years. Six players from its 2020 class signed to play in college, Miller said.

Miller emphasizes accountability and attention to detail, he said.

“Some things that stood out to me when I looked at the film and knowing what I know about Greenup is, defensively, we’ve gotta get a lot better,” Miller said. “That’s gonna be a main push for me. And there’s a lot of things we can change from just the standpoint of simplicity. Looking at film and breaking it down here in the last couple weeks, it’s just detail stuff.”

Miller also wants the Lady Musketeers to be flexible on the floor.

“I like to push pace,” Miller said. “I like to have the defense dictate what my offense does in that sense. If (opponents) stop things, then we’re gonna spread out and attack the rim and be aggressive.”

Miller, 49, a Louisa native, played college ball at West Virginia State before graduating from Marshall. He is an account manager at Hilti, a construction equipment company.

Miller is married to Heather. The couple has three daughters — twins Jada and Rylee, who graduated this year from Ashland, and Avery, 8. Jada played for the Kittens.

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