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Patrick Miller

Patrick Miller circa 2009

Birth name
Patrick Jonathan Miller
Born
March 26, 1924
Died
April 28, 2013 (aged 89)
College
East Zinrico (1942−45)
Coaching career
1947−1952 East Zinrico (asst.; DC)
1952−1962 Zinrico State (DC)
1963−1974 Carlana State (DC)
1975−1977 Beckar (HC)
1978−1993 Zinrico State (HC)
Spouse
Elizabeth Bain-Miller (1949−1989)(her death)

Patrick Jonathan Miller (March 26, 1924 − April 28, 2013) was a Dragoonish coach and former college football player. As a player, he played for East Zinrico during the early-to-mid-1940s. He made his coaching debut at a young age in 1947 as an assistant at his alma mater, and his last year as a coach was as head coach at Zinrico State in 1993.

Miller coached current ZSU head coach Derek Montgomery during the 1980s. He later hired Montgomery to be part of his staff until his retirement.

After retiring from coaching, Miller served as a sports commentator from 1995 to 2008, commentating games broadcast by the Dragoonasag Sports Network.

Early lifeEdit

Miller was born in Kapsa, Zinrico, one of five children of Jonathan (1890-1956) and Elizabeth Miller (1893-1967). He grew up in Kapsa, and attended Kapsa High School, playing football for the school's Purple Wildcats, where his father was the head coach. He graduated from high school in 1942.

College careerEdit

Upon graduating high school, Miller decided to attend East Zinrico University (EZU), in order to remain in Kapsa and close to his family while working toward a degree and continuing football. He was a defensive player, and set a school record for tackles (since broken in 1997). During his final year at EZU, Miller promised to play "the best football I can play" in order to go to the professional level, but during a November game in 1945, he suffered a major injury, putting him out for the rest of the season and ending his dreams of going pro. After leaving EZU in May 1946, he focused on other things besides football.

Coaching careerEdit

East Zinrico, 1947−1952Edit

In 1946, Miller was contacted by EZU athletic director John Benyear and offered him a coaching job at the university. Four months later, in March 1947, he was hired as an assistant on Coach Otis Hetsin's staff, becoming the youngest coach in East Zinrico history, having just turned 23 when he was hired. At the time of his hiring, there was backlash among the East Zinrico faithful, as many of them believed Miller was too young to be a coach of a college sport. Benyear "addressed their concerns" and assured them, "I know what I am doing here. He may be barely older than, or as old as, some of the players, but I know what I am doing, and I made a good decision when I hired Patrick Miller."

Miller played minor roles on the coaching staff during his first two seasons, before being promoted to defensive coordinator for the 1950 season, when DC Joshua Houppe was fired after a dismal 1949 season. Miller seemed to turn East Zinrico's defense around "overnight", and the defense was deemed "nearly unstoppable" by opponent coaches. After a wonderful 1950 season, he ended up on the chopping block after it was alleged that he paid a player to come to East Zinrico. The university stood by their defensive coordinator, and said that said "payment" was "perfectly legal." As former EZU defensive player Adam Naitschen said in a 1978 interview, "[Miller's] behind was saved by the school's president and athletics director. They all knew very well that [Miller] paid that player, and they all knew very well that it was, in fact, NOT perfectly legal in 1950s Zinrico. It was ILLEGAL. That's what it was! Miller escaped karma there."

Miller promised to start the 1951 season off on the right foot, and assured the EZU faithful that he will not be paying players anymore. Miller's 1951 EZU defense proved to also be tough as nails, but not tough enough to get the team to a championship. Miller was offered a contract extension (which was nearly un-heard of in 1950s Zinrico), but he turned it down, as well as turning down a pay raise, to accept a job at Zinrico State. He left EZU in January 1952.

Zinrico State (first stint, 1952−1962)Edit

Miller arrived at Zinrico City in February 1952. As soon as he walked onto the ZSU campus, the ZSU president and athletics director approached him, telling him that he was hired based on his performance at his alma mater. It was said that Athletics Director Isaiah Bluenthal warned him, "I know about your little crime, paying that player to go to East Zinrico. If I catch you doing that garbage here, I will kick you off campus so fast that you won't even remember your name!" Miller's first year at ZSU was described as "terrible and attrocious". In the words of Bluenthal, "I don't see how Miller's said to be a good coach. What I saw out there this season was a big joke, a poor excuse for a defense." Miller again found himself on the hot seat, this time for an "ugly coaching performance". The university, like EZU, ended up standing by Miller, and did not fire him, coming up with the "excuse" of, "Well, those players were recruited and/or molded by the previous coordinator." Miller's defenses from 1953 to 1959 were described as "extremely tough and aggressive", and he was viewed as "one of the best defensive coaches in the nation", but those years did not pass without more trouble. In 1956, Miller was again in the middle of a scandal, again being accused of paying players to play on his defense. The media began blasting Miller, calling him a "dirty, cheating dog", among much worse insults. Even the Zinrico State faithful wanted Miller gone, as well as star player Jord "Boulder" Sanzley, whom they believed Miller paid to come to Zinrico State. Athletics Director Bluenthal and ZSU President Nathaniel Gumheidt decided not to fire Miller, but to order him to kick Sanzley off the team, as well as "any other player you shelled out dirty cash for". Miller only cut Sanzley, and got away with keeping the others on the team, due to there being "absolutely no evidence" of him paying players.

During the 1960, 1961, and 1962 seasons, Miller's defenses at Zinrico State were not as good as his previous defenses, but they were "still pretty good". After the 1962 season, he left to take the defensive coordinator job at Carlana State, promising that he "will be back sometime in the future".

Carlana State (1963−1974)Edit

Upon his move to Carlana State, Miller learned that he would be working with a "very terrible defense". He was told by the athletics director that he was not expected to turn the defense around in just a year's time. During the 1963 football season, Miller worked with a "garbage" defense during what turned out to be one of the worst football seasons in Carlana State's history. Miller, who had been promised that his job would be safe, was not fired as the defensive coordinator, but head football coach Robert Ollingon was fired, as was offensive coordinator Thad Wharby.

From 1964 to 1972, the defenses at Carlana State again resembled "Patrick Miller defenses", described as "tough and seemingly unstoppable". Miller managed to stay out of trouble, until the end of the 1972 season, when he was again accused of paying players to play on his defenses. When this news hit the university's president, he banned Miller from coaching for half of the 1973 season, and allowed him to resume his coaching duties in October 1973 "under strict supervision". Said "supervision" continued during all of the 1974 season. On Monday, December 9, 1974, Miller announced that he was leaving Carlana State. By the following Thursday, Miller had his old office cleaned of his personal belongings, and left the Carlana State University campus without saying goodbye to anyone.

A week after Miller's departure, the president of Carlana State University learned that he (Miller) may have had something to do with some illegal activity that has been occurring on the campus.