Former SFA Hoops Coach Harry Miller Passes Away
Feb. 14, 2013
NACOGDOCHES, Texas -Former Stephen F. Austin basketball coach Harry Miller, who compiled a 170-112 record from 1978 to 1988 at SFA, died Wednesday at the age of 86.
Miller coached SFA to five 20-win seasons in 10 seasons, including a 22-5 mark in 1985-86 and 22-8 in 1986-87. His 170 wins ranks fourth all-time at SFA, and he was at the helm when SFA made the transition to Division I and the Southland Conference.
"A lot of folks don't realize that Coach Miller's SFA teams made post season appearances in three divisions. He took teams to the NAIA National Tournament, the NCAA Division II Tournament and to the NIT. That's amazing," SFA Director of Athletics Robert Hill said.
"I always believed that when a game was on the line the difference would be Harry Miller. I watched him out coach his opponent many times to win close games. He was so good at it."
The 1986-87 team won the Gulf Star Conference with a 10-0 record and advanced to the NIT Tournament.
He finished his coaching career with a 534-374 all-time record, also coaching at Wichita State, North Texas, Eastern New Mexico, Fresno State and Western State.
In five seasons at Fresno State, his teams were 92-40 and had three straight 20-win seasons, and he was 104-37 in five seasons at Eastern New Mexico.
Current SFA head coach Danny Kasparalso spent three seasons as an assistant under Miller from 1983 to 1986, helping garner a pair of 20-win seasons for the 'Jacks.
"Some of the things Coach Kaspar does today he learned from Harry Miller especially the motion offense and the patience it takes to run it," Hill said."
"I was fortunate to see and broadcast just about every game during Coach Miller's tenure at SFA. As I look back now, I realize how lucky I was to have been there to see a true basketball genius. SFA and college basketball has lost a giant of the game."
Funeral services for Miller are set for Monday at 10:00 a.m. at the North Street Church of Christ in Nacogdoches. Visitation is scheduled for Sunday from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Laird Funeral Home in Nacogdoches.