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  



McCallie Basketball School Sessions

The McCallie basketball school and instructional 3-on-3 league directed by Blue Tornado coach John Shulman is scheduled over the next four months at the private school on Dodds Avenue. There is a $175 cost per semester (seven classes) and the start dates are Nov. 5, 12, 19 and 26 and December 3, 10 and 17. In the second semester, dates are January 7, 14, 21 and 28 and February ... (click for more)

Randy Smith: Vol Fans Wait, While Butch Plows Forward

While the Tennessee offense extended their touchdownless streak to 14 quarters in their 45-7 loss to Alabama, Coach Butch Jones and his staff went back to work  on Sunday getting ready for the Vols' game at Kentucky this weekend. In the meantime, Tennessee fans are waiting for the axe to fall on Jones; speculating on just when his firing happens. Things are as bad as I've ... (click for more)

Man Shot Multiple Times In Cleveland; Jesus Teague, 14, Is Arrested

On Saturday, at 6:12 a.m., Cleveland Police Department responded to 1210 Elrod Place SE in reference to a domestic disturbance.   A man sustained multiple gunshot wounds and was transported to Erlanger by Life Force. His condition is stable, at this time.   The suspect, Jesus Tyler Teague, 14, was located and was in custody as of 3:25 p.m. ... (click for more)

Travis Caslin, 42, Shot While Walking Along South Willow Street

Chattanooga Police said a man was shot on Friday night while walking along South Willow Street.   The victim was identified as Travis Caslin, 42.   At 7:37 p.m., Chattanooga Police officers were called to a local hospital after a person showed up with a gunshot wound.   Police were informed that the victim's condition was non-life threatening. ... (click for more)

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Myth And Fact Check

My husband and I recently had the privilege of participating in the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk in Chattanooga. I listened as my husband told the audience about how his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when he was nine and how she died from the disease when he was fourteen. As a child, my husband didn’t understand what breast cancer ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Evil This Way Comes

There is a line in Act IV of William Shakespeare's Macbeth, as some of the 20,000 students at Middle Tennessee State are taught, that reads: "By the pricking of my thumbs / Something wicked this way comes." The professors explain that in the 16 th century the “pricking of thumbs” meant an intuition of evil about to happen and every student at MTSU knows several white supremacy ... (click for more)