KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — When you are having the success that Danny Miles has had, people start to notice. For years, Miles has had opportunities to coach somewhere else.
“I had a chance to go on to other places, mainly to see if my system would work some place else,” said Miles, “but this is where I needed to stay and finish out my career.”
Miles knows the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, and his strong relationship with the community of Klamath Falls has made it easier to stay.
“I love Klamath Falls,” said Miles. “I love the people here and I’ve had great support. Why go on when you’re having a good time?”
“I kind of see myself as a stayer,” said SOU head coach Brian McDermott, who has coached against Miles for nearly two decades. “My other job I was there for ten years and I’m here for 18 and that’s a long time, but it ain’t 43 years.”
“There’s a real love affair between the Oregon Tech Hustlin’ Owls and Klamath Falls,” said assistant coach Mike Pisan. “We’re a pretty diverse community but the one thing that everyone agrees on is the Oregon Tech Hustlin’ Owls.”
Combine that longevity, consistency and passion for the game, add just a little bit of luck and maybe you have a chance at reaching 1,000 wins. The fact that only two men’s basketball coaches have done it is proof of how great of an accomplishment it is.
“It’s amazing,” said North Medford assistant coach and former Oregon Tech player Richard Faust. “To be in coaching that long and to win that many games, it’s unbelievable. I’m glad I had a chance to play for him.”
“That’s just a lot of wins and it’s just scary to break it down in to what that takes every year,” said McDermott. “It’s crazy and that’s why there aren’t that many people who have done it.”
“When you can do that for 43 years through the highs and the lows and the so lows that you don’t even know why you’re there and you still stick, that says a lot and it just boils down to character,” said former Oregon Tech player Marvin Woodard.
The story doesn’t end at 1,000 wins. Miles says he still hasn’t decided how much longer he will coach. He says this might be his last year, but he could also see himself coaching for another four years. There’s also this school of thought.
“Coming back to win two more times every four years, I guess I have to coach until 2016 because that’s another leap year and we’ve won three in a row on leap years,” said Miles.
A fourth national championship would add to what is already a remarkable legacy; 1,000 wins and 43 years of lives he’s impacted.