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Nyla Milleson launched the women's basketball program at Drury more than two decades ago.
Provided by Drury University
Nyla Milleson launched the women's basketball program at Drury more than two decades ago.

Nyla Milleson returns to Drury as athletics director

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Nyla Milleson, a decorated coach who launched Drury University's women's basketball program two decades ago, is coming back to the school as its athletics director.

Milleson was named vice president and director of athletics by Drury President Tim Cloyd, according to a news release. She succeeds Corey Bray, who starts next month as Oklahoma City University's director of athletics after leading the Drury department since 2019.

"It is amazing how life can come full circle," Milleson said in the release. "I am humbled and grateful for this unbelievable opportunity to come home and lead this storied athletic program."

Milleson becomes the first woman to lead an athletics department at any of Springfield's collegiate programs, including Drury, Missouri State University and Evangel University, officials said in the release.

"Nyla impressed Drury University when she first arrived as the Lady Panthers inaugural coach over 20 years ago, winning the conference six out of seven years and taking the team to the NCAA Division II finals," said Beth Pile, chair of the Drury Board of Trustees' athletics committee, in the release. "She continues to impress with the breadth of experience she brings with her from other positions she has since held, along with her strong relationship-building skills, passion and belief in academic excellence first."

Milleson most recently has worked the past year as athletics director for the Hollister R-V School District. She previously served as head coach of the Missouri State University Lady Bears, and later became head coach at George Mason University in Virginia.

Milleson was inducted into the Springfield Area Sports Hall of Fame in 2018 and the Drury Athletics Hall of Fame in 2016, and she has been named Coach of the Year a handful of times in various conferences, according to the release.

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