Katie (Miller) Falco returns for her sixth season as an assistant coach with the South Dakota State University women’s basketball team.
Since joining the SDSU coaching staff in June 2008, Falco has played a key role in the Jackrabbits’ success the past five seasons — during which the Jackrabbits have qualified for the NCAA Tournament each year and won three Summit League regular season titles. She helped devise many of the team’s defensive strategies that allowed SDSU to lead The Summit League in scoring defense (51.7 points per game) and turnover margin (+5.7) during the 2008-09 season, and also has aided in the development of the post players as the Jackrabbits have compiled a 122-45 overall record since her arrival.
Falco also oversees the team’s travel, camps and community service efforts.
An assistant coach at Montana State for three seasons, Falco was part of a dramatic rebuilding process directed by head coach Tricia Binford. The Bobcats won only three games during the 2005-06 seasons, but improved to 13-16 in 2006-07. MSU continued its upward swing in 2007-08, posting an 18-13 overall record and reaching the Big Sky Conference championship game.
One of Falco’s primary responsibilities at Montana State was to serve as academic coordinator for a program that was honored on the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association’s Academic Top 25 Honor Roll three times. The Bobcats finished fifth in Division I for team grade-point average during the 2005-06, fourth in 2006-07 and 11th during the 2007-08 campaign. SDSU led all divisions of women’s college basketball in team GPA each of those seasons.
A native of Solon, Iowa, Falco was a standout player at Northern Iowa, ending her career fifth on the career scoring charts with 1,343 points. A first-team all-Missouri Valley Conference performer in 2003, she finished second in the league with 18.2 points per game in leading the Panthers to their second Women’s NIT appearance in three years. She also set a UNI record for career free throw percentage at 82.4 percent, making an MVC-record 53 consecutive free throws during her freshman season.
Falco also excelled in the classroom, earning Verizon Academic All-America honors in 2003 while completing a bachelor of arts degree in sports psychology. She then moved on to pursue a master’s degree in physical education at Utah State, where she served two years as graduate manager for an Aggie women’s basketball team that was reinstated following a 16-year hiatus.