Ken W. Miller returning to Coaler football

Brent Sumner
Staff Writer

    When Ken W. Miller announced his retirement back in 2013, he held on to the hope that one day he might return to the sidelines as a coach.
    Now, with athletic director Dan Hutchings taking over the Coal City varsity football program,  Miller will return as an assistant.
    “He goes around and watches a lot of practices,” said Hutchings. “We were just talking, and I offered to see if he would be interested in coming back. We had a spot, and he is.”
    Miller was inducted into the Illinois High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame in April of 2013, a few months before he stepped down from his position as the assistant to the administration/superintendent’s office, marking the end of 33 years in education.
    On Wednesday, at the Coal City School Board meeting, Hutchings announced that Miller would be rejoining the program.
    “We are very excited to have him come back,” Hutchings added. “He has a wealth of knowledge, a great football coach, and has been retired now for a few years.”
    Miller was head coach for Coal City from 1986 through 1999, and took the program to its first playoff appearance, as well as its first state title game.
    The program will have kind of a different view though, as Hutchings served as an assistant coach for Miller at one time. This time, the tables have turned.
    The program was only eight years old when Miller took over, the team went just I-8 in the first season, then made the playoffs the next 13 years. He also finished with a conference record of 77-14 (146-54 overall).
    In 1993, the team won the 2A State Championship with a perfect 14-0 record, defeating Carlinville for the second time that season, 20-6.
    While it is still unknown exactly where Miller will focus his coaching duties, he likely will be calling the offense.
    After all, he called all of the plays in his 200 games as head coach.
    “We will use him for whatever we need, offense, defense, special teams,” Hutchings said. “He will be an assistant coach, and myself, him, Jim Looper and Adam Troll will all build the offense together. It will be a group effort with the staff.”
    Either way he will bring experience to a new season, and see the Coalers have success.