In addition to his coaching experience, Miss brings with him advanced degrees in the humanities, which will help ensure that student-athletes are outstanding performers both inside and outside of the classroom.
“As the new Athletic Director, Stephen Miss will do an exceptional job of building on all the good work of those who have come before him,” Belmont Abbey College President Dr. William Thierfelder said. “His model of excellence and virtue has been an integral part of the education, formation, and preparation of our student-athletes.”
Miss makes his foray into athletics administration as he enters his sixth year as the Crusaders men’s basketball coach. As Head Basketball Coach, he has guided the Abbey to an 80-61 mark, including a 20-win season during the 2008-09 campaign, the program’s first 20-win season since 2002-03.
Under Miss’s guidance, guard Richard Barbee (2008-11) ended his career as the program’s fourth all-time leading scorer, netting 2,018 points, the first Crusader to eclipse the 2,000 point mark in 22 years. During Miss’s tenure, five players have scored over 1,000 points, three have signed professional contracts and two were invited to NBA pre-draft workouts with the Charlotte Hornets.
He has coached 11 academic all-conference and ten were named all-conference in his five years, with a 100 percent graduation rate among his players.
“I am humbled beyond words to be named Athletic Director at Belmont Abbey College,” Miss said. “I am grateful to Dr. Thierfelder, Abbot Placid, and the entire Abbey community for this tremendous privilege and for their confidence.”
Miss will lead a department that has ascended to unprecedented growth in the College’s history, one that has added nine sports in the last eight years. He will also direct a program that saw five programs recognized by Conference Carolinas with the Messick Award for displaying the best sportsmanship. The Crusaders claimed the overall sportsmanship award from the conference in 2012.
“My charge,” Miss said, “is to continue to foster a culture of virtue through sport and to provide our student-athletes with the best experience possible while simultaneously assisting and mentoring them in becoming more complete individuals in mind, body, and spirit.”
Prior to joining the Abbey, he served one season as an assistant coach at Towson University during the 2003-04 season. From 1998 until 2003, he was an assistant at the University of Georgia, beginning as a graduate student assistant and eventually becoming administrative assistant for the Bulldogs.
He holds a Bachelors Degree from the University of North Carolina and two Masters Degrees, one in English from the University of Georgia and one in Irish Theatre from Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. He and his wife, Angela, who is the Chair of the English Department and Director of the Rhetoric and Writing Program at Belmont Abbey College, have two children, Abigail Grace and Stephen Patrick Mitchell.
Miss’ appointment to Director of Athletics follows the resignation of Quinn Monahan. Monahan resigned his post after two years to accept the same appointment at the University of South Carolina-Beaufort.
Under Monahan’s aegis, the Crusaders athletic department had one team win a Conference Carolinas Championship and three that reached the NCAA Tournament. The women’s soccer team captured the Conference Carolinas regular season title and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Southeast Regional in 2011, while the women’s golf team, which was ranked as high as third nationally, was crowned Conference Carolinas Champions with a 54-stroke victory later that spring. Both golf programs earned spots in the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships for their efforts. In the spring of 2012, the men’s golf team ascended to as high as 19th in the national rankings and Adam Hedges was named a first team All-American.
Monahan also oversaw a massive facility overhaul that featured a weight room expansion, the creation of new office space at Sacred Heart Campus as well as in the Wheeler Center, a renovation of the playing floor at the Wheeler Center, acquiring full-time assistant coaches for all programs as well as the construction of new practice fields.
“I would like to express my gratitude as well to Quin Monahan for his service to our department the past two years,” said Miss.