After a remarkable run with five state trophies in six years, Waubonsie Valley coach Marty Miller stepped down from his position.
“I have been there eight years,” Miller said. “I have been walking the hallways for a long time. I had three kids all play sports at Waubonsie. It is nice to leave on a high note.”
Things weren’t always great with the Waubonsie bowling program. Miller took over the program in 2009 and made some changes, which didn’t make some people happy.
“I had been doing private lessons for years,” Miller said. “When you are teaching privately, they are doing exactly what you tell them. We got through that first year and made some changes and in the second year I had a player make it to state.”
From there the Warriors became a state powerhouse. They took third in the state in 2012, won the championship in both 2013 and 2014, finished third in 2015, fifth in 2016 and third in 2017.
“We started having some success in 2012. We won some tournaments and finished third in the state.”
While Miller had some talented players come through the program, he was working with many of them throughout the year as a private coach.
“I did lessons with the girls in the offseason and I had to get cleared through the IHSA,” Miller said. “I had to make sure I was available to the public and I couldn’t work with more than two at a time, which was fine since they were private lessons. I worked with them in the spring starting in late March or April all the way up till the season started, some five or six times a week.”
That kind of a commitment to the sport is something that Miller recognizes and appreciates.
“I would get great support from the parents,” he said. “They have to take them to the practices in many cases. The kids have to be committed as well and they have been. Seeing them get scholarships has been great. These were good girls. I’m going to miss all of that.”
Over the years Miller had improved his coaching skills and advanced through the stages of certification to where he is now, a USBC Certified Silver coach. However, he hasn’t had the time to get the Gold certification with all of the work throughout the high school season. That, along with some other reasons, is why he is leaving the Warriors.
“I had to put the gold level aside for a few years,” Miller said. “I have been asked to put some training together at the national level. I’m trying to work on the Illinois Bowling Coaches Association. I have my Powerstrike 300 camp in June where there are 16-17 college coaches and some great bowlers from the region. I have been trying to make it more national and this will allow me more time to focus on that.”