FEATURE: Mark Miller Hangs up the Swim Trunks After Giving 48 Years to the Sport

By  | 

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now)- Swimming has been a part of Mark Miller's life since he was six years old. Born in Colorado, Mark and his family moved to Wyoming. Mark's parents decided the family was going to learn how to swim after the move. Just two years after he began swimming, Mark Miller won a state championship. He still holds the record at in the 500 free.
Miller is the youngest of three siblings (Two brothers, one sister). Mark went onto swim at Laramie high School for four years, bringing home three state championships.

Miller and his brothers all went to the University of Wyoming on swimming scholarships. During his tenure with Wyoming Miller earned All-American honors six-times. He broke three conference records his senior year, and was ranked the top swimmer in the nation, going into the NCAA Championships. Miller led the Pokes to an 18th place team finish at the NCAA Championships. He was a two-time Western Athletic Conference (WAC) swimmer of the year, holding three conference records at the time, which was more than any swimmer in conference history. He was the first ever swimmer in program history to be inducted into the UW Athletics Hall of Fame in 1996.

After college, Miller went to the Olympic trials, but did not qualify for the Olympic games, which led to his coaching career. His first coaching job was at the Laramie Swim Club. Miller then headed to Gillette to coach with his brother at Campbell County, and decided to teach.

"Mark always his admirations whenever he got to college were to go ahead and stay with his swim coaching,” Mark’s father Scott Miller said. “Just pass on his knowledge as much as he could."

After a year of teaching, Mark took a head coaching job for the University of Wyoming Swim and Dive team, making him the youngest division one head coach at the time.

"A good coach can do as well as being a teacher is to touch the lives of young people and hopefully help them be better people and the best that they can be," Scott Miller said.

Seven years later, he left UW to coach at Cheyenne Central High School, where he led the Indians to multiple State Championships (Girls: 2003-2004, Boys: 2013). He decided to retire from coaching in 2020, after having a historic season, almost by almost winning another state championship. The boys team earned runners-up in 2020 as Laramie completed the three-peat.

“This year was really hard on me," Miller said. "I kind of been putting it in the back of my head about retirement at some point in time, it was going to happen.That's one of the things I’ve always prided in my program was to be consistent,” Mark Miller said. “To work hard and do your absolute best to give ourselves a chance to be successful when it matters the most at state championships. I’m very grateful for having amazing coaches and supportive parents throughout my swimming career."

Question: What's next?

“You know, I have no plans,” Miller said. “People ask me that all the time, 'what are you going to do with all your free time? I said I don't know, I’ll figure that out as I go.'"

"Mark has taken very little time off in his career from swimming," Scott Miller said. "He's always been very connected and very tight."

Mark goes by the saying 'It's Miller Time.'"

"That's kind of the phrase I’m going to live by from now until whenever I’m gone but it's my time, Mark Miller said. “I felt I truly put my heart and soul into coaching, and teaching, and swimming throughout the years to be the best that I could absolutely be, so I have no regrets walking away."

Question: What do you hope people remember when they hear the name, Mark Miller?

"Hopefully, they'll remember me as being somebody that was committed,” Mark Miller said. “Being committed to everything that I did whether it was swimming or coaching. Having pride, when I stepped my foot into these doors at central high school 22 years ago, I knew it was red and black. I had to put Laramie High School in my rear-view mirror that Laramie provided for me, and then dedication. I really dedicated my life to swimming and coaching for 48 years and I have no regrets. I felt like I’ve always tried to give it my best and hopefully that's how things will continue to go on here at central high school in the future."