in the spotlight
Coaching is a family tradition for the Millers.
Brooks Miller joined the Trine University family this spring as the men’s head basketball coach. His younger sister, Brittaney (Miller) Cymbolin, who graduated in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in communication, took the DeLand High School girl’s basketball team to Florida’s Elite Eight competition for the first time since 1984. Her team also captured a district title for 6A, the largest division in the state of Florida.
“Reflecting back on my time at Tri-State, there have been many experiences that have assisted in getting me where I am today,” said Cymbolin, who played basketball while in college. “At Tri-State, it was not just about being a part of your individual team; it was about showing love and support for all fellow student athletes. Whether it was on or off the court it a comforting feeling to know that you had a group of people that were there for you no matter what the circumstances. This experience has helped me to forge my own family within my girls basketball team.”
Brittaney started her coaching career at the junior varsity level. Then, she served as a varsity assistant coach for two years.
“This year was my first year being named as head coach, and our season certainly was one for the record books,” Brittaney said. “I think what was most rewarding about this season was seeing my kids take their success on the court and transfer it to their lives off the court as well.”
Her team’s motto is “Student, person, player. One goal. One family.” She taught the girls to reprioritize their lives into being a student first, a good person second and a player third. As a result, the team increased its grade-point average by one point.
“We even have girls accepting college scholarships and being recruited, which was never really prevalent in the past,” Cymbolin said.
She’s no stranger to overcoming obstacles. During the first game of her junior year at Tri-State, Cymbolin tore her ACL, MCL and meniscus.
“It was the first collegiate game my older brother, Brooks, ever attended. After being hauled into the training room, I could hear … (everyone) all concerned for my well being,” Cymbolin said. “It was this injury that taught me that love, support, and perseverance can conquer any of life’s setbacks. It also reminded me that any stumbling block life throws at your feet can be used as a stepping stone, one just needs the personal strength from within to rise above it.”
Cymbolin is most passionate about God, family and her students.
“I have prayed for God’s guidance my entire life,” Cymbolin said. “I truly believe he has placed angels along the way including those at TSU, my loving family members, as well as my students to help me become the woman I am today.“