Miller to receive Saffield Award at OVAC?Game

The Shadyside Lady Tigers have been one of the area’s premier girls’ basketball programs for quite some time.

One of the program’s chief architects is being recognized with the Rich Saffield Girls Basketball Coaching Award during the annual Samuel A. Mumley OVAC All-Star Classic, which is slated for Sunday at Ohio University Eastern in St. Clairsville.

Long-time girls’ basketball coach Jim Miller has been chosen as this year’s recipient of the award, which is named for the long-time Union Local mentor.

Miller held the Shadyside girls’ post for nine years and accomplished unmatched success. He led the Lady Tigers to more than 160 victories, including four seasons of more than 20 wins.

The Lady Tigers were always well-drilled and well-schooled under Miller and that showed during the tournament. Miller led Shadyside to the district tournament seven times during his career.

Twice, Shadyside advanced to the regional tournament in Pickerington and won the title there as well both times to advance to the coveted ‘Final 4’ in Columbus.

In 2002, Miller’s Lady Tigers advanced to the state tournament for the first time and took down South Charleston Southeastern in the state semifinals to get to the state title game. However, it fell short, 50-32, in the state final to Delphos St. John.

The following season, Shadyside went back to Columbus and fell, 53-50, in the state semifinals to Holgate.

After both trips to the state tourney, Miller was named a finalist for the OVAC Coach of the Year award.

Miller’s teams won four OVAC titles. His first crown came in 1998.

Along with the honor from the OVAC, Miller was named District 12 Coach of the Year four times.

Prior to coming to Shadyside, where he still teaches, Miller served as head coach at Buckeye Trail and was also an assistant at Bellaire.

Miller and his wife Cheri have been married for 41 years. The couple has two children and six grandchildren.

Staskey can be reached at