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Miller to lead Beaver

CALCUTTA — New Beaver Local boys basketball head coach Nick Miller led the Beavers in assists three seasons during his playing career.

“I’m hoping to install those type of unselfish traits in these guys,” he said.

Miller was unanimously selected as the new head coach at the Beaver Local board of education meeting Monday.

“It’s been a dream of mine since playing as a kid and playing for my dad,” he said. “From day one until the end of the season makes me thrive.”

He takes over for Jason Pacanowski, who left in July to be the Youngstown State women’s basketball director of player personnel after posting a 22-45 record in three seasons at Beaver Local.

A 2012 graduate of Beaver Local High School, Miller was a three-year starting point guard for the Beavers and played one season at Geneva College. He started coaching at Beaver Local in 2014, serving two seasons as eighth-grade coach, two as freshmen coach and last season as varsity assistant coach.

“Once they opened it up to the public, I applied in September and interviewed and got the job,” Miller said.

He is employed at Threshold Residential Services at East Palestine, where he is a direct support professional.

“Right now, based on what I’m seeing numbers wise, we’re going to have a lot of opportunities to play fast and physical basketball,” he said.

Miller already knows all the players.

“These guys who are seniors know were in the seventh grade when I started,” he said. “We challenge each other. That’s the way it should be. You can’t be too aggressive, but you can’t be too soft.”

The Beavers are coming of a 7-15 campaign, but lost only one senior from that squad. There are six current seniors coming back.

“We have goals and sights on teams we want to get a little bit of revenge on from some that got away from us last year,” Miller said. “We want to do well in sectionals. It’s been a good number of years since we’ve been good in the sectionals.”

The Beavers have won one sectional tournament game in the last 15 years.

His father, John Miller, will be the varsity assistant.

“He coached me the whole way up from youth league and AAU travel league until the seventh grade,” Nick Miller said.

Dave Goodman will return as the junior varsity coach.

“I played for Dave,” Miller said. “He’s another father figure in my life, someone I look to and trust.”

Miller also said Cody Reese and Chris Ingledue will be the freshmen coaches, while Tony Sorge is the eighth-grade coach and Mark Cashdollar the seventh-grade coach.

Miller said 17 players from grades 10-12 have been attending open gyms and lifting. Practices will be starting Nov. 1.

“I’m excited,” he said. “We’re all excited here and ready to prove some people wrong.”

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