Chuck Miller never really thought much about himself. He was cut from every basketball team he tried out for, stumbled into being a co-captain of the Southwest DeKalb football team, barely got into West Georgia and lucked into making the men’s basketball team after five players were kicked off for poor grades.
“I’ve never been full of myself,” Miller said.
But there are others with a different opinion of Miller, one lofty enough that Miller was voted into the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame last Friday. Miller will be formally inducted June 1, 2013, at the Northwest Georgia Trade & Convention Center in Dalton.
“It’s the highest honor that a high school coach can get,” Miller said. “Probably other than getting re-hired.”
Miller accumulated 861 victories coaching boys and girls high school basketball on a journey that took him through Woodbury, Milner, Monticello and Cartersville high schols before he landed in Henry County.
That’s where he spent the final 27 years of his coaching career. It’s a place Miller never expected to coach or fall in love with, but he did.
“There’s just something about Henry County and that high school that we just fell in love with,” Miller said. “It’s hard to say.”
Miller’s greatest success on the court came before he arrived at Henry County. He coached in the state tournament 15 times — 12 with boys teams, three with girls teams. He led the Monticello boys to a state runner-up finish in 1973 and had an impressive run of three semifinal appearances in eight years at Cartersville (1977, 79, 81).
Miller then thought he was headed to Fayette County, but was lured to Henry County and never left. He coached both boys and girls basketball and was the long-time athletic director. He led the Warhawks to state tournament appearances in 1982, 1983 and 1986, while leading the Lady Hawks to the playoffs in 1982, according to the Georgia High School Basketball Project.
Miller said he survived a long career because of his wife, Debbie. The two have been married 42 years.
“If you don’t have that supporting wife who listens to you and cares about all the problems that you have to put up with,” Miller said, “you can’t make it in this business.”
Now, Miller is an assistant coach for his son, Curt, who is the head boys basketball coach and athletic director at Ola.
“He has done so much his way instead of just trying to do what I did,” Chuck Miller said. “Everybody’s got to find their own path. ... He’s a good athletic director, a good basketball coach, but a much better husband and dad than all the put together.”
Miller also has a daughter, Lynn Miller Pulliem, who played basketball at Henry County, but didn’t want to play in college.
“Probably because she was so sick of hearing me,” Miller said. “But she was a real good shooter and player for us. She’s got a great life.”