Former Iowa Basketball coach Ralph Miller has died of natural causes at his home in Oregon at the age of 82. Miller spent six years as the head coach at Iowa and led the Hawkeyes to a pair of Big Ten titles, including the 1970 squad which finished unbeaten in conference play. Drake journalism professor Gary Wade was a basketball manager at Iowa under Miller and says the coach’s gruff outward appearance was right on the money. Wade says Miller was so intense he could undress you with one comment. But, Wade says if you did something right, he really patted you on the back. Wade says Miller got as much out of his players as any coach he’s ever known.Wade’s most vivid memory of Miller was the plane trip back from Ohio State after the Hawkeyes had clinched the Big Ten Championship. One of the engines went out as they passed Chicago and Miller said, “Don’t worry we’ve got two dam engines and they can fly it with one.” Wade says the second engine went out a short time later, but eventually was restarted. He says the team was pretty scared after that incident.Wade also serves as the public address announcer at Iowa State football and basketball games.
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