But as both a teacher and head track and field coach at the school, and also a former football assistant, Miller has developed deep, strong Elco ties.
Those ties became even stronger on Monday night, when he was officially hired as the Raiders' new head football coach courtesy of a unanimous vote of the Elco school board.
Miller takes over for Mark Evans, who stepped down after 14 seasons at the helm last month to take the Manheim Township job. For seven of those seasons, Elco's new head coach was one of Evans' assistants. Now, Miller's got the chance to incorporate some of the things he learned during those years, as well as tips he picked during a more recent stint as an assistant to Jim Cantafio at Cedar Cliff.
"A ton," Miller said, when asked how helpful it was to work under coaches like Evans and Cantafio over the years. "They're both known for different things (as coaches), but they're both very open about helping you deal with things (in coaching) beyond the X's and O's. I learned a lot from both of them."
But Miller's got some impressive coaching chops of his own to bring to the job. In addition to the work he's done on the gridiron as an assistant for the last decade, Miller's also enjoyed a successful four-year run as the head track and field boss at Elco. During that time, he's developed a strong rapport
Board member Ed Gardener echoed those sentiments at Monday's meeting, saying, "I'm looking forward to this season. I think he'll do a fine job." "I'm just excited to have the opportunity to work with the staff and the kids," Miller said. "Elco's always had good kids (in the football program). I'm excited to be back."
Not that there won't be some challenges to go with the excitement. Given Evans' late departure, Miller finds himself with just over a month to prepare for the official start of practice that comes on Aug. 13.
But his familiarity with many of the players he'll be coaching, as well as the close friendship he already enjoys with assistants John Carley and Skeeter Thomas, should help ease any potential problems with the transition.
"It's a big help," Miller admitted. "I've been close friends with Skeeter for 11 years, and John and I have had lunch duty together every day for two years. They have an eye on the program and the things we need to look at."
In addition, Miller noted he's received a good amount of help from Evans as well.
"Mark's been a huge help, going through things with me," he noted.
One thing Miller, who's married with two young daughters, doesn't need help with, though, is developing an enthusiasm for coaching. While being a head football coach at the high school level can be a draining, time-consuming endeavor, the Raiders do not appear to be losing a head track and field coach as they gain a football coach.
"Right now, I don't have any plans to give it up," said Miller of his track and field duties. "They (football and track and field) kinda go together, and it gives you a neat rapport with the kids. And I have a very patient wife and active kids."
Shyda to take over as A-C baseball coach: On the same day Elco's football program officially began a new era, Annville-Cleona started a new one of its own for its baseball program while at the same time giving a nod to its past.
Pending school board approval later this summer, longtime assistant Scott Shyda will succeed Mike Capriotti as A-C's new head baseball coach.
Shyda said he was informed by the school administration on Monday that he's the pick to follow the man he happily worked side-by-side with for 24 years. Capriotti stepped down in May after 34 seasons with the program, the last 31 as head coach. "I'm just very thankful for the opportunity and excited to get started," Shyda said. "It was a little nerve-racking (waiting to hear if he got the job), but I'm pretty good at accepting things as they come. But I was certainly hopeful things would work out."
Capriotti's loyal right-hand man for two-plus decades, Shyda admitted he was anxious to become a head coach right out of college. That it took so long to finally get there ended up not bothering him a bit.
"I couldn't have asked for a better 24 years," he said. "Everything worked out. Twenty-four years. It's incredible how time flies. The kids make it worthwhile. That's what it's all about."
Correspondent Bob Swanson contributed to this report.