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February 25, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Newport hires new football coach

Newport has hired Drew Oliver as its next head football coach. Drew, who leaves the same position at Hazen, is a graduate of Newport High School.

Miller made the decision to step down as the head coach of the Knights in January. The Times wrote this at that time:

“Mike Miller will not return as the head football coach at Newport High School next season.

The decision was made about a week ago and the job is posted online. Miller had discussed the possibility of him leaving with Newport athletic director Gill James prior to last season, but ultimately decided to stay.

“I think his primary goals are, if he can, to relocate to Arizona and find a teaching opportunity down there,” James said. “He’s got family down there, so that’s been on his radar for, like I said, over a year now.

“There’s nothing negative in relation to football, Newport. Purely family and a personal choice to try to pursue that. Whether he will find something or not, he just didn’t want to hang it over our head and his head.”

Newport’s football website notes Miller has been the head coach of the Knights for 10 years and been with the program for 19. Calls to Miller were not returned.

Newport lost in the first round of the state tournament last season in heartbreaking fashion to Bellarmine Prep. Among those Miller coached this past season, several will continue their careers at the collegiate level, including senior tight end Drew Sample (Washington commit) and senior Conner Baumann (Eastern Washington), as well as junior offensive lineman Calvin Throckmorton (Oregon and Washington offer).”

Here is the school’s official press release:

I am pleased to announce that the next Head Football Coach at Newport HS will be Drew Oliver.  Drew has most recently been the Head Coach at Hazen High School (Renton) and prior to that was an assistant coach/teacher at Newport HS.  Drew attended Newport HS and was an outstanding student-athlete.  He is a man if great character and we are excited about the next chapter in Newport football.

Newport also released this statement from Miller:

After logging another successful year at the helm of the Newport football program Coach Mike Miller decided it was the right time to step away. Coach Miller’s passion, dedication to the program and the players will be missed by all! Below is a letter from Coach Miller about the difficult decision:

After finishing up my twentieth year of coaching football and giving it a lot of thought and consideration, I have decided to step away from coaching. I have some things outside of coaching I would like to pursue that have been on hold for quite some time. This is obviously not an easy decision for me, considering Newport Football has been family to me for so many years, but one I am content with at this stage in my life. I plan to continue teaching at Newport and supporting Newport athletics in any way I can.

I would like to thank the administration, the athletic department and the parents for the phenomenal support I have been given over the years as well as the players, who have never shied away from hard work, dedication, or commitment. I want to also thank my assistant coaches for being such great role models and for making a positive difference in the lives of our players…coaching at Newport has truly been a privilege and a blessing. Most of all I want thank my wonderful wife and kids for always being by my side.

With the football program’s best interest in mind, I hope the timing of my decision will allow our Athletic Department ample time to find the right person to lead the program forward. Go Knights!

God Bless,

Mike Miller

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