Warhawks name park after Miller

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Gazette Staff
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
— Milwaukee has its Miller Park.

Now, UW-Whitewater has Miller Stadium.

Prucha Field at James B. Miller Stadium, to be exact, is the new name of the Warhawks’ baseball facility.

Naming of the stadium after Miller, the Warhawks’ long-time head coach, was approved by the UW System Board of Regents during its September meeting at Whitewater.

The honor is a tribute to Miller’s extensive role in Whitewater’s baseball program and the school’s intercollegiate athletic department. Miller retired as coach in 2003 with a school-record 416 victories for 17 seasons, but he is in his 41st year with the department.

Miller led Whitewater to seven NCAA Division III playoff appearances, while building a program that won the 2005 national championship and finished third in 2004 and 2008. He was a three-time Coach of the Year in the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association (WBCA) and the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, and he was inducted in the WBCA Hall of Fame in 2003 and the UW-Whitewater Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007.

“When you start out coaching, you’re next looking for these honors,” Miller said. “You just want to win the next game.

“I’ve been very fortunate to have been able to stay at UW-Whitewater and build up a strong resume. It’s very flattering to think that in 50 years from now my name will be on something. It’s just unbelievable.’’

Those connected with Warhawk athletics, however, find it both believable and deserving.

“Mills has invested a lot of blood, sweat and tears into Warhawk baseball, and personally I couldn’t think of anyone more deserving,” Whitewater athletic director Paul Plinske said. “He and his wife, Carol, have given of their personal resources in ways that have significantly enhanced the student-athlete experience.’’

Both are UW-Whitewater graduates—Jim in 1965 and Carol in 1966—and both have received the school’s distinguished alumni award.

Dedication of Miller Stadium will be next spring. Meanwhile, Prucha Field is undergoing a $900,000 upgrade that will include a new sound system, underground outfield irrigation and synthetic infield turf.

Miller believes the finished complex will be one of the top 10 Division III baseball facilities in the nation and better than most in Divisions I and II.

Last updated: 11:23 am Thursday, December 13, 2012

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