WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- On Wednesday we sat down with former New Hanover quarterback Trot Nixon. The WWAY 5th Quarter analyst and former Boston Red Sox outfielder reflected on the passing of his high school head football coach.
Trot Nixon on Joe Miller: "I know when other teams played New Hanover they knew one thing. Win or lose, you needed to buckle up when you played New Hanover because he was going to have his guys ready to play football."
"There have been quite a few people that have made a huge impact in my life. Joe was one of them. I was really shocked last night when I heard about his death. I was devastated. The thing about Joe was he gave us a guideline on how to live our lives. It's a lot of hard work, discipline and perseverance. He may not have used those words all the time, but it was his on-field actions that made us learn that. He did not pat you on the back or the side, instead he balled up his fist and popped you a couple of times."
"I'm going to miss seeing him at the BB&T Jamboree luncheon and on the sidelines and endzones on Friday nights. I understand these are the feelings most people are going to have and I just feel like he was taken too early even though he lived a great life. We're very blessed very fortunate and very spoiled to have had someone like Joe Miller in our area because he could have gone anywhere in the country to be be a hall of fame coach. We were fortunate to have him here in Wilmington. I'm grateful for that. My greed wants coach to be here along with everyone else, but there's a higher power at work here."
Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari on Twitter sent out the following message about Joe Miller on Wednesday afternoon:
John Calipari on Twitter: "Joe Miller from Wilmington, N.C., a close family friend -- a cousin -- passed away yesterday unexpectedly. Joe went to Moon HS, went midwest to play football, & ended up in Wilmington as a fball & baseball coach & eventually an AD @ New Hanover HS. Joe was a pillar in his community and a big reason why I initially picked UNC-Wilmington to go to college b/c I knew I'd have family in town. Early on, Joe's mother raised my mother and practically raised me. That's why our families were so close. Joe was a great mentor & a friend who I always stayed in touch with. Prayers go out to Phyllis & two kids, Shannon & Jake. Just a sad day."