Brent Miller, Miller County
What is the real difference-maker in winning and losing in Georgia high school football? “Obviously you have to have the talent, but once you have talent it all comes down to kids taking coaching. How far will a kid allow you to push them to get better and how much will the team take coaching as a whole? Another key factor in winning is a supportive administration and community support, as these are what really make for very special teams and special seasons.”
Which player that you’ve coached is memorable mostly for his character or inspiration? “I have coached many great young men over the course of my 34-year career, and it is nearly impossible to choose just one. However, one of my former players that always rose to the top, was a leader and hard-worker was Roddy Jones, Chamblee High School. He was our leader on the field on Friday nights, but I knew he would be a winner in life as well. Chamblee had not been to the playoffs in over 25 years and not had a winning season in 21 years. In my second season at Chamblee, we made the playoffs, and Roddy’s senior year he broke the all-time rushing record in Dekalb County that was held at the time by Patrick Pass, as well as the all-time scoring record in Dekalb County. Roddy did not go on to play in the NFL like Patrick Pass, but he went on to a very successful career at Georgia Tech. He was also named one of five finalists in 2012 for the Coach Wooden Citizenship Award, which is presented to one professional and one collegiate athlete for their character, leadership and contribution to sport and society both on and off the field. He just recently signed on to work for ESPN.”
What is the best atmosphere for a high school game that you’ve experienced away from home? “The pecan grove at Claxton High School is a very special place to play as the field is in the middle of a pecan grove. I coached at Claxton at one time, and it was my home field but also played there as the visiting coach while at Tattnall County. I would also have to mention the Granite Bowl in Elbert County. I never played there as the visiting team, but it is hard to match in the uniqueness and atmosphere of this stadium which seats around 18,000.”
As a player or coach at any level, which game do you wish you could play again? “The one that stands out the most probably was at Chamblee when we had a very controversial loss to Grady. We had over 300 yards and several TDs called back that night. We were ranked No. 2 in the state in AAAA at the time, and it kept us out of the playoffs. I think we had a team that could have gone deep into the state playoffs, but the way our region was subdivided this loss kept us out.”
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