Women's basketball coach Marty Rowe has helped direct the successful careers of many athletes over his 17 years as head coach of the Lee University Lady Flames. Myriah Iles chose a path that is uncharted waters of her former teammates. She is currently a Homicide Detective for the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department.
Myriah began her career as a Lady Flame in 2010 and played through her senior year of 2014.
"I had a successful career playing basketball at Lee, national championships contenders, championships won, constantly challenging myself and my teammates to be the best and growing tremendously individually and as a team," she explained.
"Looking back, I enjoyed every aspect of being a Lady Flame, the relationships that I built, the lessons that I learned, even the practices where we thought we would all throw up if we had to "hit the line" one more time. The experiences of being a Lady Flame brought into my life are priceless, beautiful memories that I cherish. From playing basketball with my best friends in the tropical Dominican Republic to competing for a national championship title in icy Winona Lake, Indiana (even though I thought we were in Wisconsin), wins, losses (very few, 114-20, to be exact), and a whole lot of steak dinners. Being a Lady Flame was an incredible experience and helped mold me into the person that I am today."
While playing basketball, she obtained her bachelor's degree in Psychology. She says there were two professors who she really respected and always there for her: Dr. Susan Alford Ashcraft and Dr. Jeff Sargent.
"Myriah's choice of a career in law enforcement really came as no surprise to us," said coach Rowe. "She has always had the mentality of protect and serve. That is what made her a special teammate. She sacrificed so many personal accomplishments for the sake of our team.
"Whether it was protecting the rim with a hard foul or setting a back screen to free up Hollie (German), she did those things knowing it might cost her minutes on the court, but she didn't care. All she cared about was winning and protecting her teammates.
"I'm so proud of her and what's she's doing with her life. In today's world, it takes special people to serve in law enforcement and I'm grateful Myriah is continuing to put others before herself."
Said Lee Associate Head Coach Jan Spangler, "If there is one thing that stands out about Myriah in her time with our program it is that she was a protector, her teammates always knew she had their backs. She was selfless in doing the little things on the court to make others better. It is very fitting that she is pursuing a career in law enforcement and essentially taking care of and protecting people every single day. I am so proud of her and all that she has accomplished in her career and know this is just the beginning."
"Following graduation, my initial plan was to join the Army and go to OCS (Officer's Candidate School), but I was approached by my teammate's (Karley Miller) father who was a Sergeant with the MNPD (Metropolitan Nashville Police Department), and he told me to look into getting hired, because it was a great career path and he thought that I'd be good at it. I am glad I listened to his advice. I was hired in July 2015 and have not looked back. While working my career in law enforcement I simultaneously obtained my master's degree in Criminal Justice," Myriah proudly pointed out.
Myriah is approaching her six-year anniversary with the MNPD. "During the beginning of my police career, I worked as a midnight patrol officer in the North Nashville area. Following that, I worked as a Detective at the North Precinct, and now I am a Homicide Detective assigned to the MNPD Criminal Investigations Division - Homicide Unit," she noted.
Facing many challenges:
Myriah quickly proclaimed there are many challenges she faces as a Homicide Detective. "There is a lot expected of me, from my department, the community that I serve, my teammates, and the families of the victims in my cases.
"The job is basically 24/7 and I face new challenges every day, whether it be on a scene, during an interrogation, in the courtroom, in the office, etc. Adversity makes itself present every day in my work, but as I was taught during my time as a Lady Flame, face adversity head-on and overcome it, she acknowledged. "With that said, the rewards to my work greatly outweigh the challenges. To me, there is no better feeling in the world than calling a victim's family and saying, "We got 'em."