Dayton Flyers Coach Archie Miller was all class and professionalism on Saturday. Despite his Flyers falling behind big and early, he kept his team in the game right to the end. The Wildcats hung on for the win, but the Flyers made it a real nail-biter.
Beating Dayton is a real feather in the cap of NU. They have an outstanding program and Miller is an excellent young coach.
Miller was a point guard for North Carolina State. He started his coaching career as an assistant at Western Kentucky in 2003. After a few more stops, he was named Head Coach at Dayton in 2011. He has lead the Flyers to the NCAA tournament the l;ast three seasons.
At the post-game press session, Miller was gracious in defeat. He gave credit to NU and he applauded his team's effort. He said all of the right things, but it did not seem like textbook coachspeak. He seemed to speak from the heart.
It could not have been easy coming into Chicago and facing Chicago's own Northwestern Wildcats for this big event. It becam even more difficult as the Wildcats jumped to the early, big lead. Still, Miller would not let his Flyers give up. These young men hung in and almost caught the Wildcats. It made for a thrilling game to watch, but was pribably a heart-breaker to coach. Coach Miller stood tall and answered all of the media questions.
I give Coach Miller a ton of credit. He could easily have been chippy at the media session. Instead, he was calm and gave credit to all. His team played well and there is no shame in losing like this.
I give Coach Miller even more credit when he talked to a certain unfamiliar reporter from an relatively obscure media outlet. It's one thing to answer the questions from the big media folks. It's another to talk to the little guys.
Once again, I thank KemperLesnik for their fine work on this event. I certainly would not have been there without their hospitality.