Miller led men’s lacrosse team’s transition to MCLA Division I before joining SELC and now Club Sports Hall of Fame
Former men’s lacrosse attack Ryan Miller (’16), the all-time leading scorer for both Liberty University and the SouthEastern Lacrosse Conference (SELC), is one of three alumni to be inducted in the ninth class of the Club Sports Hall of Fame, Saturday at The Virginian Hotel in downtown Lynchburg.
“He is easily among the best attackmen to ever compete in the MCLA,” Flames Head Coach Kyle McQuillan said.
Miller, a four-time All-SELC First-Team selection, three-time MCLA Athletic All-American, and four-time MCLA Scholar All-American, finished his career with 201 goals and 136 assists (337 points) in 56 games, surpassing fellow attack Kurt Tobias, who was inducted into the Club Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2019.
After being named SELC Division II Rookie of the Year as a freshman, Miller earned SELC Division I Offensive Player of the Year honors after his sophomore and senior season, when was named Club Sports Male Athlete of the Year. He was Liberty’s first player selected to the SELC Hall of Fame in its Class of 2020.
“I loved playing lacrosse at Liberty and a big part of it is the teammates I had and the coaches and the support we had from the university, which trumps even some NCAA Division I, II, and III programs,” said Miller, who will be presented by former Flames defender Tom Girardi (’16). “It was such a big part of my college experience, and a lot of my best memories were with Liberty Lacrosse, just the brotherhood and the family feeling that we had — the teammates and the camaraderie. The road trips were always fun, hanging out with your best friends. We were a pretty close-knit group and we just had a great time and worked hard.”
The Flames finished undefeated at the Liberty Lacrosse Fields during Miller’s four seasons, a stretch of 23 games.
Miller graduated with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and now works for the Virginia State Department as a facilities project manager, supervising electrical projects such as substation replacements. He was originally selected as a member of the Club Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2021, in his first year of eligibility five years after his graduation, but was unavailable as he was on a work trip to Africa at the time of the induction ceremony.
Miller has continued his passion for the game and the Flames’ program by serving as an assistant coach for the second season this spring.
“That is something that I really enjoy doing,” he said. “When Kyle first asked me, I was pretty excited about it. It was definitely cool to coach my brother (attack Jackson Miller) for his senior season last year. It’s awesome to stay in touch with the coaches and it’s really fun to pass my knowledge and experience on to the next generation of players.”
McQuillan said Miller exemplifies servant leadership on the sidelines, just as he did on the field, when he was just as happy to set his teammates up for scores as to finish their assists.
“He is definitely willing to serve,” McQuillan said. “At the root of it, he really loves the sport of lacrosse and really loves these guys, which is why he is willing to invest so much of his time and himself into it. He’s got a career that is very demanding, so we are fortunate to have him prioritize lacrosse as much as he does. He shows it is important to be invested in the program through his commitment to the team.”
Having started for the Flames all four years at attack gives Miller “instant credibility” with the current players, McQuillan said.
“As an offensive coordinator, he is able to bring some really good insight,” McQuillan said. “It’s always good to have coaches that players can look to and say, ‘Not only does he know what he’s talking about, but he played at Liberty and was one of the best to have played in the MCLA.’ When you add his lacrosse IQ, his understanding of the game and his ability to communicate that to the players, he is a huge asset to us.”
By Ted Allen/Staff Writer; Video by Patrick Strawn/Club Sports Director of Video & Media