PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — David Miller is settling into his new position.
Late last month, he was named the new head baseball coach at La Salle University, replacing Mike Lake who was let go after ten seasons at the helm.
Miller comes to La Salle after a wildly successful run as the head coach at William Penn Charter School. His 2017 squad went 26-2. Miller talks about why this was the right time to make this move.
“I had just sent 11 seniors off to Division I college baseball,” he tells KYW Newsradio. “And it was kind of a very tough thing when you bring kids in as 8th graders and then you see 11 of them go off to Division I when you’re ranging from North Carolina to Rutgers to Tulane to Georgetown to Bucknell. It was just the right time for me to get back to a college atmosphere.”
As a player, Miller was a star at Chestnut Hill Academy and then Clemson University. He actually was drafted in the first round by the Cleveland Indians in 1995, and got as high as Triple-A as a pro.
Miller is inheriting a La Salle team that really struggled the last two seasons, going 15-39 in 2016 and 10-41 this past season. Miller, though, is confident they can turn things around relatively quickly.
“I don’t see it as a big rebuild,” he says. “In my opinion, coming from the high school ranks, I’ve seen most of these college players at La Salle over the past few years and I do remember a lot of them with a lot of talent. I just think they need to have their batteries recharged, maybe a little different style of coaching. I’m a very upbeat, motivational type guy. ”
When it comes to recruiting, Miller knows what he wants in future Explorers.
“I’m going to look for a kid who wants to run through walls, whether he has the most talent or not,” Miller says. “I know if a kid can barrel up a baseball, I’m going to make him a better hitter. If a kid can throw in the upper 80s to low 90s, I’m going to make him one hell of a pitcher. It’s just about getting out there, getting these kids on campus, getting them to trust what we want to do here at La Salle and build this program from the ground up.”
His coaching resume also includes a stint as an assistant at Villanova University.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @Mattleonkyw.