By STEVE CORNELIUS, CJ Sports Editor
In the past few weeks there has been a whirlwind of activity in the Pulaski County High School girls basketball program.
On the last day of school, Brian Miller announced to his Lady Maroons basketball players that he would be stepping down as head coach to take on the role of the school’s athletic director – while Randy Elmore takes a medical leave.
Two weeks later, a former Pulaski County High School standout shooting guard was named as the Lady Maroons’ new head coach.
Tarah (Combs) Muntz will take over the reigns of the Pulaski girls basketball program.
Fomer Coach Brian Miller, who guided the Lady Maroons’ program for five years, stepped down from his coaching position with mixed emotions.
“It was tough for me to have to tell these girls I was no longer their coach,” Miller said. “I have been with most of these girls since they started playing basketball in our youth league. I have been blessed with great kids during my five years as head coach at Pulaski.”
“I have been coaching since I was 20 years old, that’s all I have ever done and it is tough to let go, but the program is headed in the right direction. Tarah (Muntz) will be able to take this program to the next level.”
As a basketball player, (then) Tarah Combs had a superb high school and collegiate career. Combs ended her prep career at Pulaski County High School as the program’s second leading scorer with 1,820 points and earned two All-State selections.
As four-year player at Morehead State University, Muntz became one of the most decorated players in school history,
Muntz finished her career ranked second at Morehead, and third in the Ohio Valley Conference, with 234 three-pointers. She ranks first in school history in three-point field goals averaged per game and played in 115 career games to rank third on the MSU career list.
As a senior in 2007-2008, she led the Ohio Valley Conference with 95 treys, shattering the MSU single season record. That figure ranked second among all NCAA Division I players. For her efforts, she was selected for and participated in the State Farm College Women's three-point shooting Championships in San Antonio during the men's Final Four Week.
Muntz was an assistant coach at Morehead State during the 2008-09 season and was the MSU women’s basketball director of operations the following season. Following Coach Mike Bradbury, Muntz served as the women’s basketball director of operations at Wright State during the 2011-12 season.
Muntz, her husband Clay and 1-year-old son Eli, moved back to the local area last year. And Muntz had no immediate plans to get back into coaching until this golden opportunity to coach at her high school alma mater arose.
“This is so exciting for me to be able to give back to this program and the community that given so much to me,” Muntz exclaimed. “I have always been proud to be a Lady Maroon, and I am super excited to be a Lady Maroon coach. I am thrilled to be given this opportunity and I am grateful to that I was considered for the position.”
Muntz, a 2004 Pulaski County High School graduate, has kept in touch with the local program through her family connections.
Her parents, Steve and Teresa Combs, have been a part of Miller’s coaching staff for the last 5 years. Both have been longtime coaches of the Pulaski volleyball team — on which Muntz played on during her high school career.
“Through my parents, I have stayed in touch with the basketball program while I was away,” Muntz admitted. “I have came to games and I have worked with a lot the local kids in summer camps.”
The Lady Maroons position will be Muntz’s first head coaching gig, but she has already acquired a wealth of quality basketball knowledge, having played under Kentucky head coach Matthew Mitchell and coached with Wright State head coach Mike Bradbury.
“I am a big proponent of high-intensity defense, where you get in their face and smother the ball,” Muntz stated. “An up-tempo defense will lead to an up-tempo offense. We are going to get up and down the court and we are going to shoot the ball.”
“I know we have good group of young players coming back, and I am going to work with them to create a game plan that best suits their talents,” Muntz explained. “Coach Miller did a great job of developing our youth league, and we will now get to reap the fruits from his labor.”