GREEN BAY — After more than 30 years as the head coach of Denmark high school, Bill Miller has stepped down after a historic run that turned the Vikings into a powerhouse.
He has 516 wins, 225 losses, 11 conference titles, three-straight Division 2 State titles, and he's a Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Famer.
“It wasn't something I was anticipating doing,” Miller said. “I was hoping to stay with it – things didn’t work out. A lot of good memories that I will take with me.”
Coaching high school baseball wasn’t something Miller was originally looking to do.
“Originally I think I was looking to coach maybe basketball, but the baseball job came open at Denmark,” Miller said. “I decided to take a stab at it. 30 years later, still doing it.”
When he first took over he didn’t know if the Vikings could ever reach the state tournament.
“I started attending the state tournaments when it was held in Wausau and watched those games, then I was like ‘hey, we could be at this point sometime’. A few years later, in 2002, we finally made the first state tournament,” he said.
The team would make five state tournament appearances under Miller, winning three in a row from 2021 to 2023. Which he got to share with his sons Brennen and Lucas. Miller is going out on top.
“These last few years have been a tremendous experience for everybody. myself included,” he said. “There was a lot of quality teams before this, teams that may be just as good if not better.
His favorite memory outside of winning titles:
“Just watching the smiles on the guys' faces after a game,” said Miller. “They took every game as a special win. It could have been the first game of the year or last game of the year. They enjoyed playing it everytime out there.”
Miller will miss seeing the big dog piles after momentous victories, but what he’ll miss the most is going to practice.
“A lot of times a player or other coaches might think it's a grind to do that but practices were fun,” said Miller. “(I) enjoyed doing that, working with the guys each day.”
As for how his programs were so successful, he gave a lot of credit to his players.
“I think that was what helped us along – kids came in there knowing what was expected and they went right to work."
Miller isn’t done coaching, he will be helping his son Brennen coach youth travel ball.