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Billy W. Miller photo
Billy W. Miller photo
Billy W. Miller
Hometown: Picayune, MS
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The late Coach Billy Wayne Miller was a highly successful championship football coach who was an outspoken advocate for high school athletics for 28 years while serving schools at Pearl River Central, Stone County, Pascagoula, and Moss Point. Born in Picayune, Coach Miller attended William S. Hart High for 3 years at Newhall, California, and graduated from Pearl River Central at Carriere. Billy Wayne played halfback at Pearl River Junior College and received a football scholarship to Livingston University in Alabama. He returned to Pearl River Central as student-coach and received his college degrees at Southern Miss. He started his coaching career in 1963 at his Pearl River Central alma mater as head football coach. After two seasons and leading his team to record of 13-7, he took the same position at Stone County which promptly won the 1966 Gulf Coast Conference championship. Billy led Stone County to a record of 32 wins, 10 losses, and 2 ties before he moved to Pascagoula to serve as an assistant coach. Coach Miller arrived at Moss Point in 1971 as head football coach and athletic director at a school that was suffering in athletics and would build the football program into a gridiron dynasty. Under his guidance, Moss Point captured 8 separate district or division championships. His 1974 team won the Big Eight Coastal Zone as did the 1989 version. Coach Miller’s Moss Point team was south state runner-up in 1986 and Division runner-up in 1988. His 1983 team was the pride of Moss Point as they won the Class 5A state championship in amazing fashion. He coached three Clarion Ledger Players of the Year at Moss Point—Chris Clausell in 1983, Chris Osgood in 1984, and Keswic Joiner in 1963. Billy Wayne guided the Tigers to 163 wins against 109 losses and 7 ties. Overall, his football teams won 173 games with 93 losses and 7 ties out of 273 games played. In 1988, he helped complete a two-year project to build a new field house with extensive weight training rooms at Moss Point that included separate meeting rooms for offensive and defensive teams, office suites for all coaches, and a new press box. He also helped renovate a new track and install a new practice football field. For his coaching efforts, Coach Miller received several Coach of the Year honors: in 1974 by the Gulf Coast Chapter of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame and the Big Eight; in 1983 by the Mississippi Sportswriters Association, the Burger King All-Stars, District VIII; and in 1985 by the Burger King All-Stars District VIII. He coached in the Bernard Blackwell All-Star football classic as an assistant in 1975 and as head coach in 1987. In 1990 and 1991, Coach Miller was selected as administrative assistant coach for the Mississippi/Alabama All-Star Football Classic. Off the field, Coach Miller was outspoken about high school athletics and successfully tread the professional waters of two athletic organizations, the MAC and the MHSAA. He also served as President of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame Gulf Coast Chapter from 1986 to 1989. He was representative for the MHSAA Legislative Council and a member of the MHSAA Executive Committee from 1981 to 1989. Billy Wayne also was a member of the Executive Committee of District VIII from 1983 to 1989 and chairman of the Burger King All-Star Committee from 1980 to 1988. He faithfully served the MAC as a member of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee along with a term as vice president and president of the MAC in 1990-1991. Coach Miller was the first ever active coach to be elected to a five-year term as president of the MHSAA and the first person to serve as president of the MHSAA and the MAC at the same time. Billy Wayne was a pioneer in dealing with college football recruiters and frequently spoke out about NCAA rules and regulations that affected his players, his school, and his state. Coach Miller passed away on June 23, 1991.