Miller uses past experiences in teaching basketball, life lessons
THREE RIVERS — An audience of 100 people were treated to inspiring words delivered by former Michigan State University football and basketball player, and assistant coach Pat Miller who was guest speaker at Thursday’s Three Rivers Health Foundation dinner.
Miller, a native of Menominee, used the phrase “What goes around comes back around” as the central theme of his message.
Also a former shooting coach for the NBA franchise Detroit Pistons from 1988-1992, during the Bad Boys era, Miller used several anecdotes from his high school and collegiate athletic, and coaching career to show a correlation between sports and life lessons.
Miller, an all-state basketball player who scored 1,627 career points, led Menominee to the 1967 state championship and a runners-up finish in 1968.
“My father was the head coach at Menominee and taught me a lot of tough love,” Miller recalled.
Miller’s father at one time threatened to kick Pat off the squad, if he didn’t start playing for the team. Pat took those words to heart and became a better teammate.
Menominee actually won that state title with a losing record.
After high school, Miller went onto compete at the collegiate level at Michigan State as a punter in football, and was a co-captain for the Spartans in basketball.
Miller, who now currently resides in Milwaukee, Wisc., spends his time conducting U-Can-Shoot Camps and Clinics, and is a nationwide lecturer on the action of shooting.
After a year as MSU’s starting punter, Miller left the squad the next season to get married on the very same day as MSU’s season opener at the Kingdome in Seattle, Wash.
Miller made a statement that was misconstrued by his wife about the couple’s trip back to MSU for the start of classes that following Monday, a couple days after the couple’s wedding day and reception in the Upper Peninsula.
The legendary Duffy Daugherty, who was the Spartans’ head coach during Miller’s time as a student and player for the Spartans, used two different punters in Miller’s spot that day.
“My wife and I were driving back to East Lansing. I was listening to the game on the radio and realized I had made a mistake. I assured my wife the mistake wasn’t about getting married, but rather quitting the football team,” Miller said.
The next week, Miller went back and Daugherty granted him permission to rejoin the Spartans’ football program, and he eventually won his starting job back.
Miller’s coaching background includes a stint from 1975-1991 as head men’s basketball coach at Northwood University.
Please see Saturday’s Commercial-News print or e-edition for the full article.