When Brandon Miller was playing baseball at King College (now King University) he and his roommate/teammate, Jeff Robinson, would often talk about being head coaches on the high school level one day.
Robinson fulfilled his dream when he became the head baseball coach at Chilhowie in 2002 and took over the Warriors’ football program in 2013.
Now, Miller is getting his first chance to lead a program.
“My opportunity came way, way later than his,” Miller said.
After years of paying his dues as an assistant coach, the 39-year-old Miller is now the head boys basketball coach at Honaker High School.
“The head coaching jobs just haven’t come along very often around me over the past 15 years and with this job, the timing, sport and place it just fit perfectly,” Miller said. “That’s why I thank God for this opportunity and am extremely humbled by it.”
Miller takes over for Marcus Dunham, who compiled a 147-40 record as Honaker’s boss from 2009-2017.
“The decision to step down was personal,” Dunham said. “It allowed me to spend more time with my family and more time in the outdoors. Coaching today is a year-round job no matter what sport you coach and is very time consuming. There is always something you have to be doing regarding coaching on a daily basis. This move will definitely give my family and I some valuable time together.”
Honaker dominated the Black Diamond District and Crooked Road Conference during Dunham’s tenure and the Tigers were state runner-up in 2015.
“I would not trade the experience I had as the basketball coach at Honaker for anything in the world,” Dunham said. “I was blessed with some outstanding athletes and young men. I was also blessed with what I feel was the best coaching staff anyone could ask for [David Bostic, Scotty Boyd and Justin Hall]. They were always supportive of me and were great assistants. We won a lot of games together and endured a lot of ups and downs but in the end I think we touched a lot of lives.
“The memories I made will be remembered forever. All my players were like family to me and I always treated them that way and still do; I continue to think of the many memories to this day. I do not deserve all the credit; that belongs to my staff and players throughout the years, we won and lost as a team. I take pride in the fact that my teams always played hard and competed until the final buzzer.”
A Honaker graduate, Miller was previously an assistant boys basketball, baseball and football coach at Lebanon.
At Honaker, he’s helped with the baseball, girls basketball and softball programs.
He spent the previous six seasons assisting his wife, Misty, with Honaker’s girls hoops team.
The Tigers were state runner-up in 2014 and reached the state semifinals in 2017 during that time.
“She has taught me so much about coaching and dealing with the mental side of the job,” Brandon Miller said. “I have lived it with her, staying up late plotting and planning or not being able to sleep from all of the adrenaline from winning a big game. I’ve also hurt every time that she has hurt.
“So, I’ve seen what a head coach goes through firsthand and believe I’m ready for it. … I have learned a lot from her and can only hope to be as successful as she has been.”
Miller will be guiding a program that has been one of the state’s top 1A programs.
“I certainly hope to continue the success that Honaker basketball has had over the past several years. Coach Dunham did a fantastic job and was fortunate to have some really good players come through his program,” Miller said. “I know those players had to work hard for Marcus, just as my players will for me. I plan on running a very disciplined program with a huge emphasis on the fundamentals. I know that you can’t go wrong if your team is fundamentally sound.”
The summer-camp circuit gave Miller a chance to get acclimated with his team.
“I have been able to work with some of my boys already this summer and am completely blown away by their approach to the game and their competiveness,” Miller said. “We did very, very well at the Radford team camp and I couldn’t hardly keep a smile off my face as I coached them. I believed it when I got the job and I saw it at camp – these boys can be very special and successful if they fully commit and buy into the hard work and preparation that is required to compete at the highest level.”