As head coach at Twin Valley South, Miller went 3-3 against the Buccs and led the Panthers to their last win over Covington, 33-0 in 1999. Now Miller’s job is leading Covington to wins – and that’s something the Buccaneers have had plenty of over the years.
The most dominant team in the Cross County Conference, Covington is 64-6 in the regular season and has been to the playoffs six times since 2000. The Buccs also own four undefeated regular seasons over that span.
“I don’t want to say we started from scratch at South, but there we had to teach the kids how to win and what it took to get to the top,” Miller said. “They didn’t have the tradition (at South) that they have here at Covington. These kids are competitive and have that work ethic already in place.
“This is a prefect situation.”
Miller has big plans for Covington – a school and community that carries heavy expectations.
The Buccs are coming off a 10-0 regular season and were ranked No. 1 in the final D-VI state poll last year. Covington lost at home in the first round of the playoffs to eventual state champion Marion Local.
“At a place like Covington they expect you to be good every year,” Miller said. “I know they graduate a good senior class this year, which is possibly one of the best classes in school history, so replacing them will be a challenge, but the underclassmen here expect to be good as well. The cupboard is not bare by any means.”
Miller will work on maintaining Covington’s tradition and enhancing its postseason resume.
Despite its six trips to the playoffs in the last seven years, the Buccs haven’t won a postseason game since a 47-14 route of Williamsburg in the first round in 2001. Most of Covington’s troubles have been the result of whom they’ve played.
Since 2000, three of the Buccs six playoff losses have come to Marion Local. Two years ago in the first round, Covington hosted eventual state champion Delphos St. John’s. Both the Fliers and Blue Jays are out of the Buccs region (24) this season.
Also gone is Covington’s standout quarterback Gene Studebaker. Studebaker, a two-time All-Ohio selection, ended his career as the Buccs all-time leader in all-purpose (7,197) and rushing yards (4,150). He started at running back as a freshman and sophomore and scored 88 TDs in 38 career games. Also gone is second team All-Ohio receiver Seth Mohler.
Key returners for the Buccs include senior linebacker Jordy Burelison (special mention All-Ohio) and junior receiver/defensive back Andy Sparks (All-CCC).
Miller brings a lot of experience to the Covington program.
The son of current Beavercreek High School defensive coordinator and former Piqua and Beavercreek head coach Dick Miller, Miller Jr. played under legendary coach Bob Gregg at Centerville and quarterbacked the Elks in 1984. His freshman understudy was Kirk Herbstreit. As a coach, Miller has spent time on the staffs at Centerville (twice), Kenton, Northmont, Beavercreek and Alter.
“I took a little bit from each of those stops and the experiences have really helped me become a well-rounded coach,” Miller said. “I was lucky to play under Coach Gregg at Centerville and the last couple of years (at Alter and Centerville) has really been a good experience, especially serving under Ron Ullery at Centerville. That was big.”
Miller, who will continue to teach at Beavercreek, is confident that he and the Buccs will continue their winning ways.
History favors both.
“As soon as (the Covington job) came open I thought it would be a great opportunity,” Miller said. “We played them at South and I knew about their reputation. I knew that the program was a top-notch, class act.”
Covington 2007 Schedule
|8/24/2007||@ New Bremen||6|
|9/7/2007||Lewisburg Tri-County North||5|
|9/14/2007||@ Casstown Miami East||5|
|9/21/2007||Twin Valley South||5|
|9/28/2007||@ New Paris National Trail||5|
|10/26/2007||@ Tipp City Bethel||5|