Coaldale’s Dr. Rich Miller has made valuable and lasting contributions to the Pennsylvania sports world as a 4-sport athlete and to our society as a doctor, Navy officer, and citizen.
Rich is a 1963 graduate of the former Coaldale High School, a 1964 graduate of Bullis Prep School, a 1968 graduate of Lehigh University, and a 1972 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.
He was co-Captain of the 1962 undefeated (11-0) Coaldale Tigers football team, co-Captain of the 1967 Lehigh University Engineers (now Mountain Hawks) football team, and a Navy Captain in the Medical Corps of the U.S. Naval Reserve.
As a Tight End and Cornerback/Defensive End for four years at Coaldale High School, Rich was known for his toughness and his ability to run precise pass patterns and to catch any ball thrown close to him. In 1962, Rich led the Panther Valley and Schuylkill County areas with the most touchdown receptions and was chosen to play in the 1962 Schuylkill County Dream Game.
During his four-year football career at Lehigh University, Rich started every game. He established three Lehigh pass-catching records: 1) most passes caught in one game (13 against Rutgers University); 2) most passes caught in one year (58 in 1966); and, 3) most passes caught in a career (132 in three seasons). In 1967, he was named as a first team Split End on the All-Middle Atlantic Conference team, as a member of the prestigious NCAA All-American Academic Team, and he was selected to represent Lehigh University as the Lehigh Valley Scholar-Athlete at the 1968 National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame.
Upon graduation from Lehigh in 1968, Rich received an offer to play professional football with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Cincinnati Bengals.
Rich's exploits as a baseball pitcher extended over a 10-year period from the Coaldale Little League and Church League through high school and Bullis Prep School in Silver Spring, MD. Possessing a blazing fastball and a wicked curveball, he dominated batters. Records from that era show that Rich struck out, on average, two batters per inning. As a Freshman on the last Coaldale High baseball team in 1960, he was a starting pitcher.
At Coaldale High, Rich also played Basketball for four years and participated in Track and Field for three 3 seasons. His all-around athletic ability was demonstrated in the fact that he excelled in both the running and field events, having earned several points at track meets over the years in the javelin toss as well as in the half-mile and mile races.
After his own sports career ended, Rich worked as a coach in the Nesquehoning Little League, as a coach for The Panther Valley Midgets in the Tri-County Football League, and he volunteered his time and services over several years to perform as the team doctor for the Marian High School Colts football team.