PIVOTAL MOMENTS SET UP ALL-AMERICAN JOSH MILLER FOR FAIRY TALE ENDING
By: Ryan Gasser, Assistant Director of Athletics for Communications
Many know Josh Miller (Botkins, Ohio) as someone that looks like Gaston from the Disney classic Beauty and the Beast, but acts with the humility of the polished Prince Adam. Josh would argue he may have been more like the Beast at the beginning of his career and would have stayed that way if not for a few pivotal moments along his journey.
Miller had a respectable first year at Capital, however, at the 2018 Ohio Athletic Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships Miller missed the cut for an event final for the first time in his life. It did not sit well. He ripped his jersey and now it hangs in his locker as a reminder of that feeling.
As a sophomore, Miller set personal records in nearly every meet during the indoor season leading into that year’s championship. His ego began to match his throwing progress, rising to a point that it was intolerable by then-coach Keith Rucker. Rucker laid it out plain after one practice in which Miller’s attitude was unbecoming and stated, “I am not going to coach you,” then walked away.
Many coaches to that point praised Josh for being coachable, but in that moment reality hit that perhaps he was not. Shortly after, a switch was flipped and the gears started churning, which began Miller’s complete transformation. He placed on the podium 14 times and had eight event wins between the 2019 indoor and outdoor seasons. Miller was the runner-up in the indoor shot put, OAC champion on the outdoor circuit and qualified for indoor and outdoor nationals.
If you thought he was focused, determined, and committed based on accolades alone, you’d be wrong. A true straight shooter, Miller called that assessment “BS”.
Then came the summer of 2019. Miller credits his then-girlfriend, Allison, for not only bearing with him but also grounding him both in his life pursuits and in his faith. His relationship with Allison and God flourished. He worked nearly 60 to 70 hours per week and trained intensely. Miller admits that he became more intentional in how he’d capture a national championship.
Every step along the way to achieving that goal would have a purpose. With that mindset, he won two OAC event championships, OAC Field Athletic of the Year, and was named USTFCCCA Regional Athlete of the Year. That process nearly manifested into a national title at the 2020 NCAA Division III National Championships, but the COVID-19 pandemic hit and canceled the competition.
Instead of sulking with no title and no spring season, Miller has used being named an All-American as the motivation to refocus and restart his training.
The shot put was not the only rock he tossed around this past summer. The Beast – sorry, Prince Adam –announced his engagement to his long-time girlfriend, Allison. The public relations major is back on campus launching the shot put and the rest of his life. Now, Miller has his sights set on a degree, a national championship, and at some point a chance to ring the Capital victory bell along with a set of wedding bells.