Longtime Gillette Coach Jannie Miller to Take Over Rawlins’ Women’s Soccer Program | Local

Jannie Miller has been coaching in Campbell County since 1999.

Miller, 52, moved to Gillette just before the turn of the century. She coached basketball and track and field at Wright Junior Senior High until she took a job at Twin Spruce Junior High in 2007.

Miller spent the next decade coaching basketball and football while teaching eighth and ninth grade English. When a second comprehensive high school opened in Gillette in 2017, she jumped at the chance to teach and coach at Thunder Basin High School.

The long-time English teacher has accumulated over 30 years of coaching experience. Along with coaching basketball, soccer and track and field, Miller also honed his craft in volleyball and tennis.

His favorite part: Building lasting relationships with his players.

“The reason I teach and coach is because of the lasting relationships I can have with kids,” Miller said. “Thanks to social media, it’s now so easy to keep in touch with them.”

An example of Miller’s willingness to stay in touch with her former students and players is a party she attended this year. She attended the 40th birthday celebration of one of her former students at Burns Junior Senior High.

“We were close and they all stayed in really good contact with me,” Miller said. “It makes teaching and coaching 100% interesting.”

Before the days of social media, Miller was a letter writer. Since beginning her teaching career at Johnson Junior High in Cheyenne in 1994, Miller has always found ways to stay connected and involved with the children she has met inside and outside the school. classroom.

Miller has spent the past five years as an assistant coach at Thunder Basin. She was on the bench for the Bolts men’s basketball team and served as an assistant women’s soccer coach for the school until this season.

After being an assistant for so many years, Miller decided it was time for a change. This spark of spontaneity led her to accept a teaching position at Rawlins High School the next year.

Miller was also hired as the head coach of the Outlaws college football team. For the first time since 1999, Miller will be the one calling the shots from the sidelines.

Intended to coach

Miller always dreamed of being a school counselor. But in the mid-1990s, this career path began by first becoming a teacher.

Miller began her career at Johnson Junior High and Cheyenne East High School. She has coached junior volleyball, boys’ and girls’ basketball, and track and field.

She eventually developed into coaching tennis at East and sophomore women’s basketball at Cheyenne Central.

In 1996, she moved to Burns to become the head girls coach in basketball and the boys head coach in athletics while simultaneously teaching English classes for four different levels.

“Honestly, Burns was my dream job,” Miller said. “I remember being offered the position of head coach for women’s basketball and calling my dad and telling him I didn’t know what to do.

“My dad has always been my go-to man for this stuff. I just remember him saying to me, ‘Why are you calling me? Just do it.'”

Miller took a teaching job at Wright in 1999 where she coached boys and girls basketball as well as boys and girls track. She moved to Twin Spruce in 2007 to coach men’s basketball, women’s basketball, men’s soccer and women’s soccer. She also coached the Campbell County JV women’s soccer team for two years.

Miller’s five-year stint teaching at Thunder Basin will come to an end when his final class ends Wednesday afternoon. Although she knows going to Rawlins is the best thing for her, that doesn’t stop her from feeling nostalgic as her final year as Bolt draws to a close.

“I feel very guilty for leaving freshmen this year,” Miller said. “But I strongly believe that everything happens for a reason and I think this job at Rawlins opened up for a reason. This is where I will end my teaching and coaching career.

Miller has been married to her husband Tyler for three decades. She has already bought a house in Rawlins and plans to live there for the school year while her husband stays at Gillette.

“We’ve been married for 30 years,” Miller said. “A little time apart will be fine.”

Miller’s final season as an assistant coach at Thunder Basin ended with the boys’ basketball team winning its first state title in school history. It was the perfect way to end a perfect career at Gillette.

“I’m not an emotional person at all,” Miller said, sniffing back tears. “But I had this group in first grade and second grade and I coached them in basketball. They gave me this picture and they all wrote me something special about the frame… And that’s what it is about.

“If you don’t have lasting relationships, why are we doing what we’re doing in the first place?”

A player’s favorite

Miller took time off from coaching soccer at Thunder Basin this year, but is looking forward to returning to the field next year. She already went to scout her new team in Newcastle earlier this month.

“They seemed super nice and I’m really excited to be in charge of a team again,” Miller said. “I’ve been an assistant for a while where you just do what’s expected of you from the head coach, but I’m excited now that I can make the decisions.”

Deegan Williams has played for Miller since his football debut over a decade ago. The Thunder Basin eldest played soccer for Miller for years before becoming a key part of Thunder Basin’s basketball program three years ago.

“She’s always been a perfect coach for me,” Williams said. “I’m really hard on myself and she reads me like a book. If she sees that I’m angry, she’ll be the first person to come and tell me that I’m the best person in the state.

Miller also taught Williams during her freshman and sophomore years. With Williams graduating this weekend, the Thunder Basin playmaker will always remember Miller as the “school mom.”

“She was just taking care of us,” Williams said. “She’s someone you can always talk to and you can trust her with everything. If your life was at stake, she’d be there.

While he will miss hearing Miller’s positive support on a day-to-day basis, Williams is thrilled to see Miller stepping into a head coaching role at Rawlins.

“They’re really lucky,” Williams said. “She knows a lot about football and she coaches the game well. She knows how to coach people. She’s going to make them work hard and buy into them. These girls have a great coach.

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