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Preps

Miller's stamp is on Warhawks

By JOHN C. COTEY
Published June 13, 2004

Scott Miller doesn't mind admitting that his first season in Seminole in 2001 was blessed.

He inherited a great team, one of the best area high school teams ever, and it won every game it played.

Good coaching? Sure. Miller was smart enough, he says, not to get in the way.

But this season, Miller showed just how good he was. He fielded a team he and assistants Mike Kirkwood, Chris Miller and Bill Falasco built practically from scratch beginning in 2002, and with the proper blend of senior leadership and youth, was the only Pinellas team to make the state tournament.

Along the way, Miller and his staff had to overcome some key injuries and the loss of star pitcher Cody Reed.

They did it the way they always handled adversity - meeting with the team, explaining what happened, then moving on.

No yelling, no sky-is-falling nervousness, barely a worry expressed to the other Warhawks.

"I think the adage is true, players pick up on the way you as a coach do things," Miller said. "We have a team meeting to deal with things, and then you're done with it."

The key losses weren't even speed bumps for Seminole thanks to Miller's steady hand, as the Warhawks sailed to a 28-3 record. If you don't count the 10 forfeit losses the 2001 team was saddled with, Miller has won 101 of the 117 games he has coached at Seminole.

This season didn't end with a state championship, like in 2001. But the trip was just as satisfying, if not more, and the coaching job even more impressive.

"It gave me, I guess, satisfaction in a different way than 2001 did," Miller said. "This year's club, after that 2001 season, that was the first time in the program for everyone. I can say these were my kids, so to speak."

[Last modified June 12, 2004, 23:37:23]


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