Written by Kay Bouyack
The Scioto Foundation announces a new scholarship fund created to honor the memory of legendary football coach Ed Miller. The Coach Ed Miller Scholarship Fund has been established by the Miller family as a tribute to his enduring legacy as a coach and educator.
The Coach Ed Miller Scholarship Fund will benefit both Notre Dame High School and Wheelersburg High School High School student-athletes. To be eligible for the scholarship, a student must be a graduating senior from Notre Dame or Wheelersburg High School and plan to attend an accredited college, university or technical school for post-secondary education. One student from each school district will be selected annually to receive the award. Preference will be given to applicants that participate in high school football or cheerleading. Students must complete an essay that discusses their adherence to Coach Miller’s philosophy of faith, family and football. Students that are hard workers, showcase pride in school and that have a desire to achieve are encouraged to apply.
The volunteer scholarship committee of the Scioto Foundation with assistance from the Miller Family will make annual selections on behalf of the SF Board of Governors.
“My dad loved and had a tremendous impact on the players he coached at Wheelersburg and Notre Dame. His toughness, hard work and focus on flawless execution raised the standard by which both schools and his players measured themselves,” said Matt Miller. “This fund is to help student athletes continue to always strive for excellence and BE-YOUR-BEST.”
The sixth child of ten children born of his parents Richard and Elizabeth Miller, Ed Miller passed away on May 14, 2022 at the age of 86.
Miller was a 1954 graduate of Wheelersburg High School where he was named Most Valuable Player as a fullback in 1952 and 1953. He continued his education and playing career with a football scholarship at Eastern Kentucky University and was drafted by the NFL’s Buffalo Bills. In 1961 he began his first coaching job as an assistant at Northwest High School. He then became the head coach at Notre Dame where he led the football program to undefeated seasons in 1967 and 1970 and captured state titles which were decided by AP Poll voting at the time instead of more recent playoffs. All totaled, at ND Miller’s teams won 77 games and lost just 12 contests in 10 seasons under his leadership.
In 1972 Miller returned to his alma mater. Before his first season at Wheelersburg, the Pirates had only 12 winning seasons in their 32 previous years of competition. In Miller’s initial year there, he set the program-best total for wins in a season by coaching the Pirates to a 9 – 1 overall record, and he followed up that year’s campaign with three more undefeated seasons and another 9 – 1 winning season.
By the end of his fifth season in 1976, Miller had accumulated an outstanding record of 48 wins and 2 losses overall, as well as Wheelersburg’s first three undefeated seasons. The Pirates went on to nail down two more undefeated seasons in 1979 and 1989 and never had a losing season or less than six wins under Coach Miller. Before retiring in 1991, Miller led Wheelersburg to 10 – win seasons in five out of his last six years and the regional finals or better in four out of his last five years. In 1996 he was the first Scioto County Coach to be inducted into the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame. He was named SOC Coach of the Year in 17 seasons and Ohio Coach of the Year three times.
Miller completed his amazing coaching career as a head coach with 250 wins and 41 losses in 30 seasons, a record which ties him for 25th all-time in OHSAA history. He was also an educator, with 26 of his 38 years of teaching in the Wheelersburg school district where he was primarily a physical education instructor. He was a faithful member of St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Wheelersburg. He and his wife Darlene (Dart) have seven children, 18 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.
Contributions to the Coach Ed Miller Scholarship Fund from family, friends, fans, supporters or the general public may be made at any time. Donations may be in the form of gifts of cash, securities or property.
Additional information about the Coach Ed Miller Scholarship Fund and other planned giving opportunities at the Scioto Foundation may be obtained by contacting Patty Tennant, Program Office – Donor Services, or SF Executive Director Kim Cutlip at (740) 354-4612.