Archie Miller headlines Beaver County Hall of Fame class
Archie Miller — a former Blackhawk basketball standout who coached the University of Dayton men’s team to the Elite Eight at the NCAA tournament last season — heads the 2015 class of Beaver County Sports Hall of Fame inductees.
Miller, 36, will be among eight current and former coaches and players, an official and a late administrator honored at a banquet in April.
Miller, a former point guard at North Carolina State, follows his father John (2002) and brother Sean (2009) into the hall.
In 2014, he and Sean — an ex-Pitt basketball player and the men’s coach at Arizona — were the first brothers to guide different teams in the Elite Eight and Sweet 16 at the NCAA tournament in the same year.
John Miller coached both sons at Blackhawk, where he retired in 2005 with 657 wins in a 35-year coaching career.
“This honor is very special,” said Archie Miller, who plans to attend the induction ceremony. “I take great pride in where I come from, and it’s always going to be with me wherever I go.
“The thing that really makes it so (important) to me is to be in it with my dad and brother.”
Inductee Tony Court said he enjoyed officiating high school basketball games in which Archie Miller played.
“He was one of my favorite players,” said Court, 57, the mayor of Ellwood City. “He played hard and he played the game (well).
“I was impressed with his shooting touch.”
Founded in 1975, the hall has 395 members, including football greats Mike Ditka, Joe Namath and Tony Dorsett.
Major league baseball manager Terry Francona and the late basketball legend Pete Maravich have been inducted.
Hall of Fame committee member Janet Zigerell said men and women must be age 35 or older to be nominated.
While Archie Miller was ushered in quickly, some inductees said they waited years to be selected.
“I was envious of others (who were inducted),” said Bill Hewko, 76, of Adams, Butler County, who starred in basketball at Freedom High School and Geneva College in the 1950s and early 1960s. “When I received the phone call telling me I was in, I was ecstatic.”
Bill Ross, a Beaver Falls coach and athletic director who served on the hall’s first organizing committee, will be inducted posthumously.
“We’ve waited awhile for this call,” said Bill Ross, Jr., 64, of Troy, Mich., whose father died in 1976. “We are certainly proud as a family that Dad is finally being inducted.”
Former Geneva football and baseball coach Dan Frasier said he was startled to receive a call.
Rick Migliore, the starting point guard on Midland’s state championship basketball teams in 1973 and 1974, said he learned of his induction while recuperating from surgery on a knee he injured as a player.
Former Riverside basketball and football standout Brad Brown said family members have ribbed him about being inducted.
“I have not thought of my ‘jock years’ in quite some time,” said Brown, 53, a dentist who lives and practices in Ellwood City. “It’s fun to reminisce and talk of younger days.”
Golf professional Garen Steele, gymnastics coach Terri Gazda and ex-Beaver Falls and Pitt football player Reggie Williams will be inducted.
Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.