Alvin Miller’s list of awards and records is long. Kirkwood High School’s track records in the 100 meters, 200 meters and 110 high and earning four varsity letters in basketball, three in football and two in track and field, are just some of them. But Miller, a 1983 KHS graduate, still has room for more.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Track Field was renamed the Alvin Miller Track Field in front of hundreds of parents and students during a dedication ceremony for the alumnus’ long athletic career. The ceremony was hosted by the the Kirkwood School District Foundation, a nonprofit that raises money for educational programs and major projects schools can not afford.
“It’s humbling to know the community has gone this far to honor you in such a fantastic way,” said Miller prior to the event.
Miller’s athletic career began in Kirkwood High School, where he played and won numerous awards in basketball, track and field and football. In 1982, a year before graduating, Parade Magazine named Miller “the number one football player in the country,” according to a press release by the Kirkwood School District.
“He’s the best athlete in the history of the district,” Kirkwood School Board President Scott Stream said during the dedication ceremony.
Still a Legend
After graduating from Kirkwood High School, Miller was sought by more than 200 universities across the nation, according to a Ladue News story. Miller chose Notre Dame, where he played on the Fighting Irish football and track teams. Miller seemed to be headed to the big leagues, but during his second season with Notre Dame, Miller tore his ACL as he was in talks to join the Buffalo Bills.
Miller was also embroiled in a scandal in the late 1980s, where he and other athletes testified they had received money during their student athletic careers from two sports agents, according to an article by the Chicago Tribune.
But Miller returned to his hometown, and found a job as a salesman for Altria Group, the parent company of Philip Morris USA. During the 1993 Turkey Day Festivities at KHS, Miller met Romona, who was at the time a teacher at KHS and would later become his wife. They had three children, two who are attending Kirkwood schools, and another who graduated.
“He is still a legend around here, so I am very happy for this to happen to him,” said Romona Miller who is now an assistant principal at KHS.
After the ceremony, middle schoolers competed in a track meet on the newly dedicated field. Miller had a word of advice for the future athletes.
“Make sure that you use athletics and athletics don’t use you,” he said. “Make sure that your dream can be to become a professional athlete but your dream has to be to get an education.”
Shortly after the ceremony, Miller hugged friends and family who had come to see the event, including his two daughters who are both athletes.
One of his daughters, Lauryn, who is in seventh grade, said she was proud of her dad.
“When I go on that field, knowing that it is named after my father, I will be motivated to run faster,” she said.
Check out more photos from the event at Kirkwood Patch Facebook.