TALLADEGA -- The Talladega City Board of Education approved the retirement of Talladega High School head boys basketball coach Chucky Miller during a called meeting Thursday afternoon.
Miller’s retirement as high school assistant principal, varsity basketball coach and athletic director is effective March 31.
“I have put in 41 years, so this was a good time,” Miller said. “We had some great seasons lately, so it is just the right time.”
Miller coached for more than 40 years and spent the last 20 seasons as Talladega’s head coach.
He has a career record of 785-347 while coaching at Talladega and Walter Wellborn.
Miller’s last four years have been his most impressive. He led the Tigers to the Final Four each year, and Talladega claimed the Class 4A state championship in 2019.
This season, Talladega made it back to the state championship game but fell to Williamson.
During that same four-year span, Talladega won four straight regional titles.
“What one championship coach told me is the road to the championship is the great part of it,” Miller said.
Miller has spent the last several weeks since the season ended contemplating the decision.
“You always go back and forth,” Miller said. “The last couple of years, I have gone back and forth. It is to the point where I am at with my years (that) it was more beneficial to retire.
“It is going to be hard from October to March every year. I have been doing that for so many years, so that is going to be very hard.”
Miller led the Tigers to 20 or more wins 18 times in 20 years. Miller and the Tigers won 25 games or more 12 times during his tenure.
The Tigers claimed 12 county titles, 11 area titles and six region championships under Miller. Talladega made six appearances in the Final Four during his tenure.
Talladega never had a losing season or a rebuilding season under Miller.
“You see a lot of teams have great years, then they are back to losing,” he said. “I always had it where the older guys prepared the younger guys, so it would keep going. I was proud of that fact.
“Even when people said that we were going to be down, we (looked) at it like we are not really going to be down. We just have to play ball. Basketball players make plays. I think our stability with the program has been very beneficial.”
Miller began his coaching career in 1979 at Walter Wellborn. Miller spent 21 seasons at Wellborn before taking over at his alma mater.
“Basketball is still a simple game, even though the rules have changed so much over the years,” Miller said. “When I first started out, there was no 3-point line. There were jump balls, 10 to 15 of them every game.
“Times have changed a lot, but basketball is still a pure game. The team that makes the most plays wins the game.
“I thought we were the aggressor and we brought great energy in my years at Talladega.”
Miller said he was blessed to spend his entire 41-year career at two schools. He said he is going to always remember the relationships he built during his coaching career.
“ I was lucky to be at just two different schools, most coaches don’t get a chance to do that,” Miller said. “I had two 20-year careers at two different schools. It has been a blessing. It is something that will live on with me forever. The players gave me 100 percent effort all the time.”
Miller said he will miss being part of rivalry games against Anniston, Sylacauga and Childersburg.
“I am going to miss the big-game atmosphere when we played at Anniston or Sylacauga, or when Coach (Al) Barnett was at Childersburg,” Miller said. “We had a lot of big games against Childersburg. I am going to miss that. I liked the bigger the game, the bigger the atmosphere. I know I am going to miss that part of it.
“It takes a lot out of you. It is just a good time (to retire). We had a good run here.”