New coach eager to turn Miami women’s basketball program around

Glenn Box introduced this week as the RedHawks new coach

Credit: Scott Kissell

Credit: Scott Kissell

Glenn Box’s roots are embedded so deeply in the Midwest that Miami seems to be a perfect place to grow and mature.

Cairo, Ill., native. Six seasons as women’s basketball coach Rend Lake College in Ina, Ill., including three as head coach. Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Southwest Missouri State. Two seasons as an assistant at Western Michigan. Two stints as an assistant at St. Louis University, interrupted by two seasons as an assistant at Akron — his second Mid-American Conference stop.

Most recently, Box spent seven seasons on the staff at Indiana University, the last four as associate head coach for a Hoosiers team that won the Big Ten regular-season championship last season and earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament after finishing 28-4.

That’s the resume Box had on hand when the RedHawks administration went looking for a new coach to replace DeUnna Hendrix, who resigned in late April following an investigation into alleged misconduct.

Box was hired on Monday and introduced on Tuesday as the RedHawks’ 10th women’s basketball coach.

“I expect to win championships,” said Box, who inherits a team that went 12-19 overall and 7-11 in the MAC last season. “I am a winner. I expect to win. I do understand that there are levels to this, and I understand that where we currently are is not where we will eventually be. We will do it the right way. Everyone in this building will be extremely proud of what it is that we can bring to the table.

“I guarantee you the kids will play hard. They will be smart. They will be coached up. They will be taught and, most importantly, they will represent Miami University and the community well. They’re going to be workers. The only way they’re going to be here is if they’re workers.”

Rend Lake was 64-31 and upset four nationally ranked opponents during Box’s three seasons as the Lady Warriors’ coach. He also helped St. Louis win an A-10 championship and Akron win the 2014 MAC championship and go to the NCAA Tournament before moving on to Indiana, where the Hoosiers won 20 or more games in all seven of his seasons and earned seven postseason berths, including five in the NCAA Tournament. Last season’s Big Ten regular-season championship was Indiana’s first in 40 years.

“Coach Box really does check all the boxes, in terms of what we were looking for,” Sayler said.

Box wasted no time laying out his vision for the RedHawks’ program, which hasn’t had a winning record since going 23-9 overall and 13-5 in the MAC in the 2018-2019 season.

“When you think about this program, as far as what to expect, you’re going to eventually see consistency,” Box said. “When teams see us in the MAC, they’re going to be like, ‘That’s Miami,’ and that’s who we are, and that’s what we’re going to be, every year.

“We’re going to eventually be in a position to compete for championships. That doesn’t guarantee championships, but we certainly will be in the conversation. From that point on, I expect NCAA berths.”

That doesn’t mean Miami will look the same from seasontoseason.

“I’ll do whatever I need to do to win,” Box said. “I’ve been fortunate to win in so many different ways. I’m not the person who’s going to put a round peg in a square hole. I’ll find out what works and rock with it.”

Box inherits a situation more difficult than what most new coaches face after Hendrix came under investigation for alleged “intimate text communications” with one of her players.

“This is a really important time for the program,” Sayler said. “It’s time to rally around the program. We need everybody to jump on board and give us all the support it needs right now and give it all to the new coach.

“We’re pivoting to move forward and do some great things for Miami’s women’s basketball.

“My hearts been hurting for our student-athletes for the last few weeks,” Sayler added. “That’s  why we’re so excited and thrilled to be moving forward and do that under the guidance of coach Glenn Box.”

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