by Holly Fenner Ritter ’05
Darrell Miller ’79 wanted to go to law school. However, Dick Reynolds ’65, former athletic director and men’s head basketball coach, had another idea. The day Miller graduated from Otterbein, Coach Reynolds asked him to serve as assistant basketball coach.
“I was excited about it,” he said. “I thought I would just do it for a year.”
Miller coached at Otterbein for seven years. He said he wanted his players to have the same positive experience he had playing basketball at Otterbein from 1975-79. “When I came in as a freshman, there were a lot of other good players here. I had to work extra hard and take advantage of every opportunity,” he said. “I didn’t play as much as I wanted to initially, but I never gave up and I kept after it.”
Reflecting on his experience as a student athlete, Miller said it was a special time in his life. “At the time, you don’t realize how much fun it is until it’s over,” he said. “Looking back, I have a lot of great memories.”
A political science and business administration major, Darrell left his coaching position to found Aqua Science, Inc., a water management company in Columbus, OH, in 1983 with fellow alumnus Dan Smucker ’77.
Miller still maintains his connection with his alma mater. He hires Otterbein student athletes and graduates to work at Aqua Science, Inc., as well as USA Sports Academy, a premiere sports and training facility in Columbus, where he serves as president.
“It’s rewarding to do that for students who need work,” he said. “So many of them stay in contact. I talk to some of them weekly. It’s enjoyable that there’s that Otterbein connection in my life.”
And there is now another Otterbein connection in his life. His daughter, Madi Miller ’15 has followed in his footsteps and is playing basketball at Otterbein.
“It’s an excellent opportunity for her and she really likes Otterbein,” he said. “I’ve seen a lot of growth from her and that is really neat to see.”