Under Jim Miller, the wrestling program at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, has certainly added to its trophy case.
From 1991 through the 2013 NWCA Cliff Keen National Duals, the Knights have won 404 dual meets and lost just 34 -- the last four wins leading to a third consecutive (and seventh overall) National Duals Division III title.
As of this writing, Miller's teams have won 20 consecutive Iowa Conference championships and have not lost a dual to a conference foe since the 1993-94 campaign.
Since 1996, Wartburg has won nine NCAA titles, including the past two.
Miller, who took over the program in 1991, announced in September that this season would be his last on the sidelines.
"He was much more than a coach to me," three-time DIII champion Byron Tate said. "He taught me about a lot more things than wrestling. I can't begin to describe what he did for me".
The impact of Miller has gone far beyond the wrestling room.
"Not only has Coach Miller put together a wrestling program that is the envy of the nation, he has lived the Wartburg mission in a way that I envy," school president Darrel Colson said. "His coaching really is teaching, guiding and mentoring in the ways that all of us can admire."
Eric Keller, co-head coach with Miller since the beginning of the 2010-11 season, will take over full-time next season.
"Coach Miller has created a legacy at Wartburg over the past 21 years," Keller said. "I feel extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to coach beside him for the past 12 years. The lessons I have learned from him extend far beyond the wrestling mat. He is a coaching legend and I truly believe there is no one better at mentoring young coaches."
The margin of victory for Wartburg at the 2012 DIII Championships was 55 points. After its performance at the 2013 National Duals it appears, once again, the Knights will be the team to beat when wrestling opens at the DIII Championships in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on March 15. Wartburg will have room for NCAA trophy No. 10. But there is no trophy case big enough to hold what Jim Miller has brought to the Wartburg campus.
"The way I coach is directly
influenced by Coach Miller.
He changed my life and gave
me direction. He can bring guys to a higher level than they
even think is possible."
-- Kevin Bratland, two-time National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III All-Academic Individual and two-time NCAA Division III All-American. Current head coach at North Central
"Everything we do is based on what I learned from Coach Miller. I run our
program real similar to the way he runs the Wartburg program. On a daily basis, I think,'What would Coach Miller do in this situation?'"
-- Nick Mitchell, three-time All-American for Wartburg, current head coach for NAIA national champion Grand View
"When I call him and
ask him about something
(and he doesn't know this)
I start taking notes.What he says works. He's usually 100-percent right."
-- T.J. Miller, Jim's son, spent two years as an assistant under Jim, now head coach at Holy Cross High School in New Orleans
"He really does care about
every kid on his team, and I think that's why he
gets so much out of his athletes. It's something
I really try to do with my athletes."
-- Cory Connell, Former Wartburg wrestler and current head coach at Iowa City High
"When I came here, I just wanted to win
one, and I still do. The next one."
-- Jim Miller
"He taught me about a lot more things than wrestling. I can't begin to describe what he did for me."
-- Byron Tate, three-time national champion with Wartburg
"The lessons I have learned from him extend far beyond the wrestling mat. He is a coaching legend and I truly believe there is no one better at mentoring young coaches."
-- Eric Keller, current co-head coach at Wartburg, will take over for Miller after this season