Miller's career honored in Hall

Coach spent 23 years with Lady Falcons

Article taken from The Portsmouth Daily Times, Thursday, November 13, 2003

For 23 years Karen Miller embodied Minford volleyball. While her accomplishments 364 wins, seven Southern Ohio Conference titles and six district championships, to name a few speak for themselves, the latest tells the whole tale. Miller was named to the Ohio High School Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Fame this week.

"It's a very nice honor," the 1992 Div. III coach of the year said. "I had no idea whatsoever." The soft spoken coach was quick to deflect any praise, but there's no denying the effect she had on her teams. You don't average almost 16 wins a season and make it to the district tournament 15 times in 23 seasons without doing something right. "She was very dedicated," Beth Coriell said. "When it was volleyball season, she was definitely into that." Coriell was an assistant coach with Miller for three seasons after being the head coach at Lucas.

"I learned so much from her, she had so much knowledge of the game," Coriell said. "Her practices were always very intense, there was never a down time for the girls."

Rachel coriell played for miller from 1990-93 and later was an assistant for two seasons. She had the advantage of seeing miller on the court behind the scenes.

"I think she loved the game," Rachel Coriell said. "(I saw) all the hard work and extra time she put in outside of the two hours you were there for practice." Having worked and played for Miller, Rachel Miller saw all she meant to the team.

"She was definitely deserving (of the award)," she said. "She built a program at Minford that has been long-standing."
Looking back, Miller is glad she had the opportunity to spend her career at one school.

"Being at the same school for an extended period of time, the players knew what to expect such as Northwest and Wheelersburg are now experiencing now," she said. Miller started coaching in 1975, just one year after the program was started by Diane Shaffer. But it was Miller that brought it through its infancy into the consistent winner it was for so many years.

She stressed year-round training, making sure her players played volleyball or another sport in the offseason.

"The work ethic (improved)," Miller said. "Those players where what lead to our success. I think in our area, our players, in Scioto County, were the first teams that started attending camps and doing the extra (work in the offseason)." It definitely showed on the court especially in the playoffs. Along with the wins Miller won four District 14 Coach of the year awards and went to six regional tournaments.

"She had a lot of talent at that time but she always prepared the girls going into each and every game," Beth Coriell said.
Miller still teaches at Minford, and is greatful for her experiences there.

"Minford has been so suportive---the administration, the players, the parents--I couldn't have found a better situation to work in," she said. "None of this could have been accomplished without them."