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TyronePA e-cafe - Tyrone Pennsylvania Community Forum • View topic - Bellwood Coach Loses Battle with Cancer
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Bellwood Coach Loses Battle with Cancer

Didn't get enough at the game? C'mon in and share the experience with the rest of us!!!

Post Wed Aug 30, 2006 11:22 am
150thBucktailCo.I User avatar
MVP Member

Posts: 342
Location: Blair County


By Philip Cmor, pcmor@altoonamirror.com



Two days before its big season-opening game with archrival Tyrone, the Bellwood-Antis football program is reeling from a devastating loss.

Randy Miller, who would have been in his 19th season on the Blue Devil staff, passed away Tuesday in Philadelphia after a bout with prostate cancer. He was 42.

“Our kids are deeply affected. He was really a kids’ coach,’’ Bellwood-Antis football coach John Hayes said. “He was ‘Mr. Optimism.’ His glass was always half full. He was always positive, always supportive.

“This is a deep loss.’’

An industrial arts teacher at Bellwood-Antis, Miller coached the quarterbacks and secondary for Hayes for the last eight years after moving up from the junior high. He had originally been stricken more than a year ago, but Hayes said he made “miraculous progress’’ into last summer before a relapse.

Miller was forced to take a sabbatical from teaching in January because of his health. Hayes and the rest of the Blue Devil staff paid Miller a visit at the cancer treatment center in Philadelphia on Saturday. Junior high head coach Charlie Burch, a senior in high school when Miller began teaching and coaching at Bellwood, saw Miller, who he referred to as his mentor, Sunday.

“He taught me a lot about life,’’ Burch said.

What his friends and fellow Blue Devil coaches said Miller embodied was putting it all on the line, never giving up, but also having priorities. His wife, Karen, and two sons — Tyson, 9, and Trevor, 5, survive Miller. He is also survived by a brother, Greg.

“He always said he had a lot of F’s in his life: faith, family, friends and football, in that order,’’ Devil assistant coach Nick Lovrich said. “He was kind of like a role model to me. A lot of the things I got into, he sort of volunteered me for. Just watching him in his battle with cancer, he was never going to give in. He was determined he was going to beat it.’’

Devil assistant Bill Crowell was among those that knew Miller best, meeting when the two went to California University of Pennsylvania. Miller graduated a year before Crowell, but they were reunited at Bellwood-Antis once Crowell was hired there. Also an industrial arts teacher, Crowell’s room was right next to Miller’s.

“He was a man of great faith and strong Christian values,’’ Crowell recalled. “He saw good in every person.’’

There were grief counselors available at Bellwood-Antis yesterday for both the players and Miller’s fellow faculty members and coaches. The players were assembled in the locker room and told of Miller’s passing. Friday’s game at Tyrone will be played as scheduled.

“We’re doing what Coach Miller would have wanted us to do. He was constant motion,’’ Hayes said.

“Even with the pain he was in, he said to me, ‘Boy, I wish I could be there for the Tyrone game,’’’ Lovrich said.

Maybe Miller won’t be there in person, but there’s little doubt he’ll be there in spirit. His memory will live on in those he touched in life.

“I got a chance to talk to him five or six weeks ago. I told him, ‘You’re an inspiration. You’re a hero,’’’ a somber Burch said. “He thanked me.’’

Post Wed Aug 30, 2006 11:54 am
Harlow MVP Member

Posts: 385
Location: Yorktown, Virginia
My deepest condolences go to the Bellwood coaching staff, the team and the coach's family.

No matter how much the fans take pride in who wins the Tyrone-Bellwood game, we always have to remember it is one game, one night that makes up a very small part of your lives.

I have probably been to about 20 Tyrone-Bellwood games in my lifetime. The atmosphere in those 2 1/2 hours is something to cherish.

Life is much bigger, even though for about a week or two, it seems to be all that is thought about or talked about.

Hopefully there will be a moment of silence before the game and then the kids will lay everything out on the field and we all are fortunate to be a part of the event that is Tyrone-Bellwood.

Remember, Saturday comes and life continues.

Post Thu Aug 31, 2006 5:32 pm
Rick User avatar
Administrator

Posts: 591
Location: Tyrone, PA

Some more information here as well...

http://www.tyronepa.com/news/article.php?id=7914

Sorry to hear...
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