Thursday, August 03, 2006

Miller to Lead Badgers

Erik Miller has been named head coach at Wisconsin. Miller will have the difficult task of following three-time national championship winner Mary Shofner. Miller has a sparkling rowing resume, having spent eight years as a member of the US national team. He spent those years as a lightweight so he should be in tune with the unique peculiarities of lightweight rowing. He served as an assistant coach for the Wisco men and for the Wisco summer collegiate women's camp so he was a known quantity for Bebe Bryans. One thing seems certain, he knows what it takes to compete at the highest level so we'll see how he brings that knowledge to his athletes.

Under the heading of old web pages never die, check out Coach Miller's old site. [Update: Well, they do die when the owner realizes it's been linked to and replaces the content.] You can get an idea of some of the workouts he went through while on the national team as well as few other things about him (the accompanying picture, for example). Stand by for a lot of "rusties," Badgers. It also turns out that cooking and BBQ are hobbies of Coach Miller, so I guess the Wisco women can expect a lot of cookouts at his house (turkey burgers, of course).

Coach Miller went to the University of Washington which doesn't have a lightweight men's program, yet he raced for the US as a lightweight. This is something I've noticed among lightweight national team women as well - it seems as though most national team lightweights come from heavyweight programs. Where are the Wisco, Radcliffe, Georgetown, and Princeton national team lightweights? A few theories come to mind, but they're for another time.

Coach Miller walks into the best of situations and the worst of situations at Wisconsin. The best because he will be coaching the three time national champions. The worst because he will be coaching the three time national champions. They can't win forever (can they?), and with the improvement we saw in the field last season, there are plenty of worthy successors. I don't know how much you'll need, but good luck, coach and take care of the top lightweight program in the country!

[The news about Coach Miller's hiring was posted in the comments section of FITD by a Wisco lightweight while I was on "hiatus." Thank you for that posting and please keep them coming. Thanks to a reader, FITD was first with the scoop. As you may have guessed, this post means that FITD will be back for at least another year. (Some of you are smiling, some of you are cursing; just so you're not yawning!) Even though it's the summer, I've missed a lot. I'm getting my head back in the boat and should be up to speed soon. As always, please send me your news, comments, and suggestions. I pay attention to them all and because you all know much more about lightweight rowing than me, you're the best source of information I have.]


Anonymous said...

I'm so glad to see you're back posting. I always enjoy reading this blog, and have been checking for the past month to see a new post!!

Anonymous said...

In response to your musings about there aren't any collegiate lightweights on the in the hunt for national team spots, check out the results from senior nationals today. Two-time national champ for the Badgers, Katie Sweet '05, has made the team in the Pocock quad. Way to go Katie!!! Our entire community of past, present, and future collegiate lightweights is lucky to have such a hard-working, true lightweight to represent us.