SOLON — Kevin Miller could have continued. But not at his standards.
“I’m kind of a control freak,” Miller said. “If I expect the kids to be in the weight room, then I’m going to be there.
“This isn’t an August-to-November job any more. And if I can’t give 100 percent to it, I can’t do it.”
Miller announced his resignation as football coach at Solon High School Wednesday, signaling the end to a wildly successful 18-year run.
Under Miller’s watch, Solon compiled a 190-32 record, winning four consecutive state championships (2007-09 in Class 2A, 2010 in 3A).
In 21 years overall — he also coached at Boscobel (Wis.), MFL MarMac and Iowa City Regina — he was 197-52.
Miller’s legacy goes beyond the stuff in the trophy case.
“I’ve never been fixated on winning championships,” he said. “If you develop young men, the winning will follow.
“I want to make an eternal impact. Long after I’m gone, I hope that the things that the kids learn from me, they’re applied throughout their communities.”
Miller’s son, Cam, is a senior at Solon and will play at North Dakota State University next year. His daughter, McKenna, is a student at Iowa State.
“I want to watch my son play football,” Miller said. “My daughter is close to graduating from college. My family has sacrificed so much for me, and now it’s time to give back to them. I don’t want any regrets.”
Miller, 49, was a quarterback for Solon’s state-championship team in 1988 under Ed Hansen. When Hansen retired, Miller succeeded him and the program climbed even higher.
“Kevin and his staff are top-notch as far as being mentors of young people,” Iowa City Regina Coach Marv Cook said. “They coach football the way it is supposed to be coached. Their kids play with discipline.
“Their program was a benchmark of what we were trying to become. I have great respect for him.”
Mount Vernon Coach Lance Pedersen said, “Kevin’s a competitor, on and off the field. He has a great culture, a great program, and he does it with class.”
The Spartans went 12-1 and were 3A state runners-up last season. They will be 2A next year.
“We’re going to be pretty darn good, and I could make another run at it,” Miller said. “But not at the expense of my family. Not any more.”