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|NFL legend shares talent with local coaches|
Growing up in El Dorado, Ark. Al Miller dreamed of being a football star. Now he is known as a local legend and a national superstar on the football field.
While his dream came true, it not necessarily was he way he imagined it as a scrawny football player in southern Arkansas.
Today, Miller is known all over the world as one of the best strength and conditioning coaches.
"I have had a wonderful time," Miller said speaking to area high school football coaches at the annual St. Francis Medical Center Gridiron Coaches Clinic and Golf Scramble. "I am humbled and have enjoyed every second of my career."
Miller came to Ouachita Parish as a Northeast Louisiana University football player in 1974 and soon made an impression as a hard worker and great team leader with his teammates and amongst the coaching staff.
Miller got his first coaching job at Lee Junior High School shortly after graduating from NLU.
"I learned so much about football and being a coach in those early years," Miller said. "I learned through the years that kids are kids no matter the age. They still require the same things from a coach. The speed of the game from one level to the next is the thing that really changes."
Soon Miller became the strength and conditioning coach at Mississippi State in 1980. After one season, he returned to NLU to be strength coach for the Indians for one season.
His talents did not go unnoticed by the elite of college football coaching circles and he was asked by Paul "Bear" Bryant to be the strength coach for the Crimson Tide of Alabama in 1982.
"He was a true legend of the game," Miller recalled. "What set him apart was his attention to detail."
Three years and a college national championship later, Miller was off to Colorado as the strength and conditioning coach of the Denver Broncos, his first NFL job.
Miller spent eight years in Denver under head coach Dan Reeves and Mike Shanahan. During this time in the Mile High City, the Broncos went to four AFC championship games and three Super Bowl games.
In 1993, he joined the coaching staff of the New York Giants where he was their strength coach for four years.
His last full-time coaching stop was with the Atlanta Falcons where he was the strength and conditioning coach for nine seasons.
The Falcons went to two NFC championships and a Super Bowl during the time Miller was on the staff.
In 2004, he was voted by his peers as strength coach of the year in the NFL.
Miller retired in March of 2006 after 21 seasons in the NFL.
"I love this area," Miller said. "I have seen football played all over the country. This part of the state has some of the best high school football anywhere. It was a real privilege to be able to talk to so many great coaches here at this event."
He was honored in May as a "Legend of the Field" with four others at the CSCCA National Conference.