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GUEST INFORMATION 02-03-2014
7:10 Bryson Moore, a young miner, details his quest to get a mine operating in the Illionois Valley. Then .Kevin Starrett, OregonFirearms.org, discusses upcoming gun bills in legislature.
7:35 Herb Rotschild of Peace House, and Eric Dubin of Citizens for Transparent Government. .Protest and rally against Trans Pacific Partnership is Saturday, 10:35 at Vogel Plaza. More information at Citizens for Transparent Government's website.
8:10 Dr. Dennis Powers "Visiting Past and Present" history segment:
Danny Miles: Winning Basketball Coach
By Dennis Powers
Born in 1945 in Medford, Daniel “Danny” Miles went onto becoming the second winningest coach in the history of men’s collegiate basketball, all at the Oregon Institute of Technology (“OIT”) in Klamath Falls. His father, Claude Miles, played semi-professional baseball in the early 1900s, and Miles Field in Medford was named after him owing to this successful career in Medford.
When Claude and his wife had three boys, he built a baseball field with a grass infield, backstop, and dugouts in the cow pasture behind the family home. Playing sports was their pastime. Danny was an outstanding athlete in three sports--baseball, basketball, and football--at Medford High School and was honored in 1963 as the school’s outstanding athlete.
At the Southern Oregon College of Education (now Southern Oregon University, “SOU”), he earned All-American honors in football, was All-Conference in basketball, and named to the All-District baseball team. Danny was a four-year starter at quarterback for the Raiders, and set collegiate football’s all-time record for all divisions by completing 77.9% of his passes in his sophomore year; his career percentage was an outstanding 66%. Miles led the nation in passing percentage in 1964 and 1965, and then in total offense in 1965.
After graduating from college, Miles coached the three sports at Mazama High School in Klamath Falls. After one year as the head baseball coach at Bend High School, Danny returned to Klamath Falls in 1970 at age 24 as an assistant coach in the three sports at OIT: that past year, their results were in basketball (1-21), football (0-9), and baseball (3-23). One year later, he became OIT’s offensive coordinator for football and its head coach for basketball and baseball. He has never left the school since then, nearly a record in itself, which as of 2014 now totals 44 coaching years.
Deciding to concentrate on basketball, Danny emphasized different aspects that most coaches didn’t. Although he credits his assistant coaches and the fans, most people center on his unique style of coaching. For example, in evaluating players, he created what he called the “Value Point System.” Rather than focusing on someone’s points-per-game and rebounding, his system computed the entire value of a player’s contribution by including the missed shots, personal fouls, turnovers, recoveries, and assists, sizing up that person’s team support. He freely substitutes to give younger, developing players the chance to experience “game-on-the-line” times. He recruits from around the country, even the world.
Danny Miles emphasizes sportsmanship and community service. He sponsors Special Olympic events where his team has played basketball against the special team for over twenty years--and his players have lost by one point each and every time. The field house reserves sections for those with special needs and the elderly; and he, his coaches, and players generate the money that allows at least two African children to attend school. From working at an all-faith OIT chapel to reading at children’s programs, his players experience this philosophy.
This approach has resulted in achievement beyond comparison, and all at OIT with its low budgets, an enrollment of 4,000, in a city of 40,000, and in an economic region that has endured bad times. His “Hustlin’ Owls” have won three NAIA II national championships in 2004, 2008, and most recently in 2012. This goes along with one national runner-up, a national third place, two elite eight’s, 14 district or conference titles, seven district runners-up, and being ranked in the NAIA’s top-20 on 30 occasions.They won a school record of 65 straight wins at home, the longest at the time in the country from March of 2008 to December 2011.
Miles has led his teams in the last 17 seasons to an overall 474-129 (78.7% win record) with 14 trips to the national NAIA II tournament. He has been named the NAIA National Basketball Coach of the Year in 2004 and 2008, the overall National Coach of the Year in 2012, and ten times honored as the Cascade Collegiate Conference Coach of the Year. Miles has led his Owl teams to numerous 20-win seasons (31 times), 25-win seasons (22 times), and 30 or more wins(10 times).
At the end of the 2012-2013 season, Danny Miles had the second-most career wins of any collegiate coach, including more than notables such as Mike Krzyzewski (Duke), Jim Boeheim (Syracuse), Bob Knight (Indiana and Texas Tech), and Dean Smith (North Carolina). During the 2014 season, he will have earned his 1000th career win. Several years ago, OIT had another round of athletic cuts, so even though Miles “retired,” he stayed on as the basketball coach.
In 1966, he was inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame. Miles also is a member of SOU’s and Medford’s Halls of Fame. Southern Oregon University named him as its 2005 Distinguished Alumnus Award winner.
He has coached at OIT for over four decades, working through the logging industry’s collapse and decline of farming with the Klamath Basin water crisis. He has turned down numerous coaching positions with much more money at bigger schools and in larger towns. Owing to tough financial times, OIT had to slash his budget so low that at times he almost quit; he has also been fired and rehired.
Danny Miles has come a long way after taking over a basketball team that had only won one game before. In addition to his winning ways, OIT named the basketball court after him--and his grandson, a freshman guard, joined the team in 2013.
Sources: “Oregon Tech: Head Coach Danny Miles,” at Biography and Coaching Records; Greg Bishop, “For 41 Years, Town Cheers Danny’s Boys,” New York Times, February 22, 2012, at Long Article Insights; Barbara Ditman, “The Oregon Encyclopedia: Danny Miles (1945-),” at More Background (With Images).
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