From Heidelberg Sports Information
Miller Stepping Down as Wrestling Coach
Tiffin, Ohio – March 26, 2010 – Heidelberg University Director of Athletics Matt Palm announced this afternoon that eighth-year head wrestling coach Jason Miller is stepping down from the helm of the program. Miller will continue to serve as the head volleyball coach and associate director of athletics.
“This was a decision that I did not come upon lightly,” stated Miller. “Ultimately my family is my top priority and this is what is best for my family. My family has been very supportive of my coaching endeavors, and with four daughters at home, along with my wife, volleyball will always be a family sport. It allows time for me and my family to be together at the holidays.”
The announcement of Miller’s decision to step down coincides with the appointment of Nathan Shearer to the head coaching position. Shearer joined the wrestling program at the start of the 2009-10 campaign as an assistant coach.
Before coming to the Berg, Shearer was an assistant coach at Ohio Northern University from 2005-09. He is a graduate of ONU, where he was a member of the OAC Regular Season Championship team in 2002 and also made an appearance at the NCAA Championships.
“I am excited to continue to build on the success of the wrestling program at Heidelberg,” said Shearer. “The university continues to strengthen its academic programs which aids in the success of the wrestling team. My family and I are looking forward to continuing to build strong ties with the Heidelberg community and I am looking forward to continuing to develop the wrestling program on the mat, in the classroom and in the community.”
“On behalf of the university I want to thank Jason for his dedication to the wrestling program,” Palm said. “He has brought unheralded success to the program and the university. He has laid a foundation that will be picked up with the seamless transition of Nathan moving into the head coaching role. Jason and Nathan have worked closely together over the last year and will continue in the future to help continually elevate the program to new heights.”
Since Miller took over the program during the 2002-03 season, the Berg has never landed lower than third place in the league standings. He departs with a career record of 82-44 and a 37-11 mark in the OAC. He has guided the Berg to three of the last five Ohio Athletic Conference Regular Season Championships (2006, 2008, 2009) and five consecutive OAC Tournament titles (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010). Miller has coached 23 OAC champions en route to picking up the league’s Coach of the Year award for the last five straight seasons.
Heidelberg has been a mainstay in the national rankings over the course of Miller’s tenure. He has coached 26 national qualifiers, highlighted by a program-best six qualifiers in 2009. In 2006, Joe Pflug became Heidelberg’s first national champion on the mat, winning the 157-pound crown. Miller has coached six All-Americans, the most recent winner being this year in 157-pound runner-up Zach Mizer.
Not only did Miller demand dedication on the mat, but in the classroom as well. He has coached five teams that have ranked in the top 20 nationally for their academics. Four of the teams, including the last three years, have posted a top 10 ranking. There have been 23 Academic All-Americans during his tenure, led by a program-best six in 2010.
Miller will continue to guide what has become a national-caliber volleyball team at the Berg over the course of the last 10 seasons. In 2010, Miller led the Berg to its first outright OAC Regular Season Title and an appearance in its third straight NCAA Regional. He had two All-Americans, four all-region selections and five All-OAC performers this season. For his efforts, he was tabbed the OAC Coach of the Year for the second time in three years. In the classroom, the volleyball team had its first Academic All-American, two district honorees and a program-best six Academic All-OAC selections.
“There is a lot of time commitment that goes into running two national-caliber programs,” Miller said. “To be able to maintain that success is very difficult, but I am not about maintaining. I want to continue to get better. To do that, it takes a year round commitment.”