Harrah tennis coach Jim Miller doubles as Thunder PA announcer

BY ROBERT PRZYBYLO Staff Writer bprzybylo@opubco.com Published: May 5, 2011
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— Harrah tennis coach Jim Miller isn't looking for any sympathy from anybody.

With the schedule he's had over the last couple of months, Miller definitely needs a break. But when you have the jobs he does, well, he can wait until the summer.

Because right now, Miller is simply having too much fun.

Four years ago Miller was known simply as the tennis guy for the Panthers. He is also the school's speech teacher and had done a lot of the public address announcing for Harrah athletics.

However, three years ago, Miller had a new title — the PA announcer for the Oklahoma City Thunder. He was one of three finalists selected after a public audition at Bricktown Brewery and later did a tryout at the then-Ford Center before being told he had the job.

Three years ago, nobody really considered the possibility of a Thunder playoff run coinciding with the state tennis tournament.

It's no longer a possibility — it's here. With the success of the Thunder, Miller is doing a juggling act between handling the announcing duties and still leading the Panthers on the court.

“It's a life that doesn't involve much sleep,” Miller said. “It's a lot of fun, and it's been very gratifying. Sometimes the trash doesn't get taken out at the house, but I'm having a ball.”

Miller still takes his tennis coaching responsibilities seriously. Every year, he sets out a certain goal for his boys and girls teams to reach. And every year, the Panthers keep making more and more strides.

It's gone from making just one point at the state tournament a couple of years ago to qualifying all six players at state.

The girls did just that Monday. For the first time since the 1990s, Harrah will have all six girls playing at least two matches at the state tournament this weekend at the OKC Tennis Center. Anchoring the team is senior Chelsea Robinson, who has signed with Central Oklahoma to play basketball.

“I give the kids a lot of credit because they've put in a lot of hard work over the years,” Miller said. “Of my 12 starters (six boys, six girls), nine are seniors, and they understand about this moment. We've come a long way, and we're doing something right.”

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