BY DEAN HOCKNEY
RUSSIAVILLE, Ind. – Bart Miller has been a fixture on the Western High School boys basketball sidelines for decades – first as a player and continuing as the head coach. But on March 21, that era came to a close with Athletic Director Josh Larsh’s announcement that Miller had resigned.
“Bart Miller resigned today as head boys varsity basketball coach at Western,” Larsh said in a prepared statement. “Coach Miller began coaching at Western in 2002, and was named the varsity coach in 2012.”
Miller compiled a record of 49-65 during his five seasons, including a sectional runners-up finish in 2014. His first campaign was a 13-9 season and the Panthers were 15-7 when it lost to Twin Lakes in the sectional finals. In year three, Western was 13-11, but the last two years saw the squad win just eight games – four in each season. The Panthers started this campaign 0-16 before winning three of its final five regular season contests.
As a player, he helped lead the Panthers to the 1990 Kokomo Sectional championship. He then spent 14 years as an assistant coach to Andy Weaver, who departed for Plainfield prior to the 2012 season.
Miller’s tenure was not always smooth – he suffered a minor heart attack at the start of the 2015-2016 campaign and endured a knee injury to standout Des Balentine in 2014-2015. After the heart issue, he quickly returned to the Richard Rea Gymnasium sideline he loved.
“We would like to thank Coach Miller for his dedication to the Western boys basketball program and wish him only the best,” said Larsh. “The search for Western’s next varsity boys basketball coach will begin immediately.”