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Miller finds unique role on the track PDF E-mail

To say that Scott Miller’s resume is a little unique is a bit of an understatement. Updated at all times, it includes a long history of volunteer acts and travels.

Scott, of Aurora, is off on yet another road trip this week, traveling to Des Moines to work the 2013 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships June 19-23. The event features 14 athletes who captured gold medals in the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games including sprinter Allyson Felix from Sun Valley, Calif., America’s first track athlete since Florence Griffith-Joyner in 1988 to win three gold medals in one single Olympics. Athletes from this meet will qualify for the World Championships in Moscow later this summer.

Scott, who teaches economics and government at Grand Island Senior High School, has served as an assistant football coach and assistant track coach for the Islanders for the past 15 years. He’ll make the trip east with his wife Deb, who serves as Aurora’s freshman volleyball coach.

“When I first found out I was awfully excited,” Scott told me about being chosen for the meet. “I went to the internet in early December and was looking for something else and they had the national championships, so I’m scrolling through it and I see the name of another official that I’m acquainted with and several others. I keep scrolling down and I see ‘Scott A. Miller.’ I screamed and yelled at Deb, and I danced around.”

He said his track duties in Des Moines will be with the triple jump and long jump. “They’ll divide us into two crews. It’s five days. It just depends on what crew I’m on, men’s or women’s. Some days you may only work one event. Other days you might work two or three.

“We’ll be there for six days. We go in on Tuesday (June 18) and have a mass meeting of all the officials, and we break down into event groups. Each event has a crew chief and they’re responsible for making assignments and overall supervision.”

Scott has been a track and field official for over 30 years, starting out as a volunteer coach and official for Kearney High School when he was a student at Kearney State College.

However, it wasn’t until 2002 when he became associated with USA Track & Field and the NCAA. That’s when things got interesting. That’s when he volunteered as an official for a Jr. Olympic meet, helping with the long jump and triple jump crew, and he’s been a part of USATF and the Husker Track Group ever since, officiating indoor and outdoor meets. “The head of the USATF was there,” Scott explained, “and he came over to me and said, ‘We have to get you certified.’”

And in 2008, Scott was an official at the Jr. Olympic National Championship Meet at Omaha Burke, surprised that he got the assignment of crew chief, and even more surprised to learn that he had a former Olympic official working under him. “Any time I had the opportunity I picked his brain. He told me, ‘Your time has come. There are people who have noticed you with your work.’

“I’ve done as many as 25 (meets) in one season, and I’ve been paid for four meets in all my years of officiating. The rest is all volunteer.”

The trip to Des Moines will be a volunteer one, too, but Scott said it’s well worth it. He said he’s looking forward to just being around the athletes, period.

“The last NCAA meet, I worked with Marquise Goodwin of the University of Texas. He’s on the football team, too (as well as a two-time NCAA champion in the long jump, a four-time All-American in track and field, a 2012 Olympian in the long jump as well as a recent pick by the Buffalo Bills in the NFL draft).  I was flight coordinator. He had two other events that were going on that evening that he was going to run in, so it was my assignment to get his jumps in and then get him to the 100 prelims. I was probably more nervous about that than he was.”

Scott’s next goal is to get selected to work the Olympic Trials in 2016, and then the only thing left are the Olympic Games themselves. He said the Olympic process is a little intimidating and scary, having to go through written and oral tests before a board during a week-long training school.

Scary? Most definitely. Intimidating? Probably. But imagine how impressive that would look on a resume.

DAVE BRADLEY can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
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