Coach Al Miller's Wrestling Bucket List

Set to Retire After 40 Years at Cleveland HS

Friday, February 15, 2013 - by B.. Branton

"I truly believe Cleveland is one of the coolest wrestling communities in America, and it is largely due to the heart and passion that Al Miller has had for this sport over the last 40 or so years."

--- Cleveland High School Athletics Director Eric Phillips

 

Retiring hall of fame wrestling coach Al Miller has been waiting four decades and now his bucket list is full.

A fixture at Cleveland High School since the early 1970s, Miller retires as a wrestling coach this weekend at the TSSAA state traditional wrestling tournament in Franklin and will witness his last graduation as a faculty member later this spring.

“Coaching high school kids during the winter months for 40 years I have never been able to see some of the great college wrestling matches such as Iowa-Iowa State, Oklahoma-Oklahoma State and Penn State-Iowa,” said Miller who is a member of the Cleveland Old-Timers, Greater Chattanooga and National Wrestling Halls of Fame.

Until now.

Using the sport of wrestling as the catalyst, Miller has coached junior teams in nearly every corner of the globe and has been to numerous World Cup, World Championship and Olympic Games competitions.

He has more frequent-flyer miles than John Glenn, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.

And now he wants to visit the great college wrestling venues in America.

“I look forward to sitting in the stands and watching matches at such great legendary schools in our sport such as Lehigh, Iowa, Iowa State, the Oklahoma schools and many others.

“I want to plan a trip up East and watch practice at prep power Blair Academy (J.J.) as they prepare for a big match or tournament.”

But before he and several wrestling gym rat friends load up the van for wrestling parts unknown, he and Cleveland head coach Jake Yost look to close out the Miller Wrestling Era with one more state title for the Blue Raider nation.

Entering Friday morning’s championship quarterfinals of the 53rd annual state tournament in Franklin, Cleveland held a 30+ point lead over second plae Beech High School and with all 14 wrestlers still alive in either the championship or consolation brackets, the Blue Raiders are a heavy favorite to win their fourth state traditional team crown.

 

Cleveland High School Athletics Director Eric Phillips --

“Al has such an incredible love for the sport of wrestling. I have never known anyone that loves it at all levels like Coach Miller does.

“He enjoys teaching moves to kids who have been wrestling for two2 days just as much as he enjoys talking about a match he saw in a barn in Russia. His genuine love for the sport has helped the Cleveland community become a hot bed for wrestling.

“I truly believe Cleveland is one of the coolest wrestling communities in America, and it is largely due to the heart and passion that al miller has had for this sport over the last 40 or so years. Whether his teams were winning state titles or sitting in Bradley's shadow, Al’s consistency has kept Cleveland in all conversations when talking about Tennessee wrestling. Myself, Heath Eslinger, and Jake Yost have all benefited greatly from the foundation that he built.”

 

contact B.B. Branton at william.branton@comcast.net  



Rally Falls Short As Mississippi Topples Lookouts Tuesday, 6-5

The Chattanooga Lookouts were defeated by the Mississippi Braves by a score of 6-5 on Tuesday night. For Chattanooga, it was their first loss to the M-Braves this season after sweeping the six game road series in Mississippi(June 28-July 3) and winning the first game of the home series on Monday night.  Atlanta Braves #5 overall prospect,  Mike Soroka  (11-8, ... (click for more)

Randy Smth: My How Things Have Changed

I broadcast a high school football game last Friday night for the first time since 2009. That's eight years and while things have changed technically since 2009, they have really changed since I started doing games on radio in 1970. Phone lines were the only way to get a game broadcast back to the radio station and on the air took several  cases of equipment as well. Mixers, ... (click for more)

Girlfriend Says Wright Was Driving Her PT Cruiser When He Left With Pair Whose Bodies Were Found At Cemetery

The girlfriend of William Howard Wright testified Tuesday that Wright and "Little Tony" were with two youths whose bodies were afterward found in a cemetery at Shepherd. General Sessions Court Judge Clarence Shattuck bound two counts of criminal homicide and especially aggravated robbery to the Grand Jury against Wright. A 17-year-old is facing similar charges. The girlfriend ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Police Pay Increases Announced

Chattanooga Police officers will be earning more under a $1.4 million pay improvement plan announced Tuesday. New officers would get increases in each of their first six years with the department, which has been dealing with a number of newly trained officers going to other cities. City officers now make $35,913 upon joining the force. Under the plan, they will receive about ... (click for more)

Is This Really About Slavery?

The greatest thing that came out of the American Civil War came after the cessation of hostilities. After four years of deadly, devastating, agonizing war and over 600,000 Americans had died, the armies came to a halt. The killing ended, but the suffering continued for many of the wounded and those whose homes and fortunes had gone up in smoke and been left as rubble. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Ordinary To Extraordinary

A handsome black guy, from the looks of it still in high school, appeared in a video during the A Celebration of Valor luncheon at the Chattanooga Convention Center Tuesday afternoon and described a Medal of Honor winner. Easily over 500 were there, including our famed Charles Coolidge, and all heard this young achiever say, “A Medal recipient is an ordinary person who performs ... (click for more)