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Coach ends career with Honorary Service Award

By Tyler Bradford

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By Tyler Bradford | Staff Writer

May 10, 2013

On April 27, Dos Pueblos faculty, friends, and family gathered in the library for the presenting of the annual Honorary Service Awards.

The Honorary Service Award is given to, in the words of the head of the PTSA Sonja Granatelli, “Someone who goes above and beyond their job description to help the DP community”

Among this year’s recipients were Counselor Secretary Mrs. Irwin, Art Teacher Mr. Gleason, Parent Activist Jack Tiethof, Mock Trial coaches Mr. Block, Mrs. Gratton, and Mr. Campbell, and Sam Guarena and Nicole Dinkelacker for their work with Equity in Education.

Coach Miller has coached for 30 years and has been at DP for four(Kierstin Brown / photo)

Coach Miller has coached for 30 years and has been at DP for four(Kierstin Brown / photo)

But one more Honorary Service Award was given, this one to boys Cross Country and distance Track and Field Coach, Len Miller. This award was not given to Miller because his coaching style yields athletic success (although he is certainly worthy of one, having made numerous athletes into national record holders and Olympic competitors), it was given to him because he has given up an incredible amount of his life to make sure his athletes are more prepared than their opponents, on and off the track.

Miller was nominated by Cornelia Davis, mother of a Dos Pueblos athlete, because he “goes above and beyond not on a weekly basis or a monthly basis, but literally on a daily or hourly basis”

Miller has been known to not only drive extra athletes himself to overnight meets, simply so they can experience competition at a higher level, but to also type up “newsletters” that give a brief evaluation of literally every single one of his athletes and how they did in their last race or workout.

Additionally, at the end of each Cross Country and Track and Field season Miller handwrites letters to his athletes, at times up to one hundred kids. This effort has a lasting and monumental effect on his athletes. His letters inspire runners to achieve more than thought possible and instill a profound confidence, the kind of confidence that comes from the knowledge that a hero believes in them. letting them know that they have someone who is proud of them the way a father is of a son.

While Miller has been a coach at Dos Pueblos for only four years, he has certainly made an impression on the faculty and those around him. “Being coached by Miller has definitely changed my life, he’s taught me so many life lessons and given such a knowledge on how to compete” said student athlete Cole Smith, one of many of Miller’s athletes who were in the library Thursday morning to see their coach accept his award.

“It’s very appropriate, he’s really a great guy” says Head Track and Field Coach Mr. Molkoy, regarding Miller’s receiving an Honorary Service Award. “He has double the passion and the heart and the drive that I have for DP athletics, but more importantly [the passion for], the students. I absolutely consider him to be a mentor” continues Molkoy.

Before the bell rang, requiring teachers and students to head off to their respective classes, Miller was able to share a thought or two on his prestigious award. “It really touches my heart and soul to hear from the people I’m working with, how much [my effort] means to them. Even thought they show me every day, It’s nice to hear it…it’s nice to be recognized”

Miller closed with a very touching and poignant remark,”This award may be about me, but it wouldn’t be possible without the students that I work with and I consider the last four years to be one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever had in my life”

I can say without a doubt that his athletes would say that Miller’s time at Dos Pueblos has been one of the greatest times in their lives.

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Dos Pueblos High School's Student Newspaper
Coach ends career with Honorary Service Award