John Miller returns

Published 11:26 pm Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Dallas County native John Miller has resurfaced.

Few likely remember him, but the former Dallas County High School baseball coach now works closely with the East Cobb (County Ga.,)Astros, a travel ball team. He is the team’s pitching coach and splits time between East Cobb and Pope High School in Marietta, Ga., where he also serves as pitching coach.

The Astros defeated the Schaumburg, Ill., Seminoles in the 15-year-old Gold Bracket Championship near Chicago recently to win its second consecutive Continental Amateur Baseball Association World Series.

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The team finished with an 65-2 record and was the only team to march through the championship undefeated.

“This was the greatest group of kids I’ve ever been around,” said Miller. “They were self-motivated, and worked their butts off every single day.”

Better yet, his players received exposure that will pay huge dividends down the road.

“The amount of college exposure these kids got was incredible,” said Miller.

Despite his success, Miller remembers where he came from.

His path to Georgia was long and winding. He attended and played baseball at Dallas County High School, but transfered to John T. Morgan Academy his senior year.

After two seasons at Wallace Community College, Miller finished his degree and playing days at the University of West Alabama.

He returned to Dallas County High School as an assistant under Earl Griffin. The next year, Griffin left the post, and turned the reigns over to the 24-year-old Miller.

“It’s a good place for coaches first out of school to get a chance,” said Miller. “Unfortunately, that’s one reason they can’t usually keep good coaches in the area. They’re always looking for the next job out of it.”

Miller followed the trend. After a couple of years at the helm of Hornet baseball, he followed Griffin’s advice to pursue a college coaching position.

He called and sent letters to various schools, and Troy University responded. He interviewed and was offered an assistant’s job.

“That was kind of a dream,” said Miller. “But I took a huge pay cut to coach college baseball. I just couldn’t make a living doing it.”

After three years at Troy, he left to pursue other opportunities and wound up in Marietta. After conducting lessons with John Devore, a professional pitching coach. Devore passed Miller’s name along to Dennis Jordan, the Astros’ head coach. Jordan quickly invited Miller to assist the Astros.

His time in Dallas County is filled with memories.

“I do miss the small town thing,” said Miller. “I don’t get to fish.”