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Texas State mourns loss of former coach and AD Bill Miller

Date of Release: 02/20/2006

Bill Miller wearing a Texas State Bobcats' baseball capSAN MARCOS—Funeral services for Bill Miller, former director of athletics and football coach at Texas State University-San Marcos, will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, in Evans Auditorium on the Texas State campus.

The university will host a reception following the service at 11:30 a.m. in the Sac-N-Pac Room of the End Zone Complex at Bobcat Stadium. Burial will be at 3 p.m. at the San Marcos City Cemetery.

Visitation will be from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22, at Pennington Funeral Home, 323 N. Comanche, in San Marcos.

Miller died Monday morning, Feb. 20, in Austin at the age of 74.

Those attending Miller’s funeral are asked to park in the west parking lot of Bobcat Stadium. Shuttle buses will run from the End Zone Complex to Evans Auditorium beginning at 9 a.m. and will return attendees to the End Zone Complex following the service.

Miller served as head football coach of the Texas State Bobcats from 1964 through 1978. During that time, he compiled a record of 94-53-3. His 94 wins are more than any other football coach in school history.

In 1975, Miller was named director of athletics, and he served in that capacity until his retirement in February 1992.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Billy Miller,” said Texas State President Denise M. Trauth. “He touched so many lives in his 31 years at our university and he remained a vital member of the Texas State family after his retirement. We have lost a dear friend and an important part of our history.

Texas State Director of Athletics Larry Teis praised Miller’s service to the university.

“For so many years, Billy Miller was the face of Bobcat Athletics. He was a wonderful man who played an enormous role in shaping what this university has become. I will miss him very much and I am honored to follow in his footsteps,” said Teis.

Miller first came to the San Marcos campus – then known as Southwest Texas State College – in 1954 as a student. He played fullback for the Bobcat football team under legendary coach Milton Jowers.

He graduated in 1957 and subsequently earned a master’s degree from the university.

In 1961, Jowers hired Miller as an assistant coach. Miller succeeded Jowers as head coach in 1964.

During his tenure as director of athletics, he led the Bobcat program in transitions from NAIA to NCAA Division II to NCAA Division IAA. Under his guidance, the Bobcat athletic program claimed all-sports trophies in three conferences – five consecutive years in the Lone Star Conference and later in the Gulf Star Conference and in the Southland Conference.

Under his leadership, 31 Bobcat teams claimed conference titles. The Bobcats won back-to-back Division II national championships in football in 1981 and 1982, a national golf championship and had two national runner-up finishes in tennis. In 1986, the volleyball team became the first Bobcat team to qualify for post-season play in Division I of the NCAA. In 1990, two Bobcat track stars – Charles Austin in the high jump and Drew Fucci in the decathlon – became the university’s first NCAA Division I national champions.

Miller is enshrined in the Texas State Athletic Hall of Honor, was the recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award of the university’s Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, and is a member of the Southland Conference Hall of Honor. In 2005, he received the Alumni Achievement Award from the Texas State Alumni Association. He was presented the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Daniel Baker College in 2003. Miller attended Daniel Baker before coming to Texas State.

Miller was born April 17, 1931, in Goldthwaite, Texas. He served in the Navy during the Korean War.

In his letter of resignation in 1992, Miller wrote, “Special people make up this university. Our students have been beautiful, our faculty resourceful and talented, and our administrators dedicated. I am proud that I have been a part of this fine university and I will always remain loyal.”

Miller is survived by his wife, LaRue Miller of Burnet, Texas; brother James C. Miller and his wife, Billie Jean of Burnet; brother LeRoy Miller and his wife, Catherine, of Goldthwaite, Texas; brother in law Jerry Hopkins and his wife, Jackie, of Roosevelt, Texas; and numerous nieces and nephews.