Bellwood-Antis mourns loss of Randy Miller

The community and sports program at Bellwood-Antis suffered a tremendous hit on Tuesday morning, one that sent a huge shock wave through the small town and school district in northern Blair County.
Randon “Randy” Miller, the extremely likable and knowledgeable young assistant football coach was taken away from us.
Miller, 42, with a wife and two young children, had been fighting prostate cancer for more than a year. On Tuesday, in Philadelphia, Miller lost his personal battle and went to be with his God.
An industrial arts teacher at Bellwood-Antis, Miller had been a football coach at Bellwood for 18 years. Miller began his tenure at Bellwood-Antis as a junior high football coach and for the past eight years had been coaching quarterbacks and secondary for head varsity coach John Hayes.
“From the time he started here, Randy had been such a positive person. He went into everything with a really positive enthusiasm that carried over to the football field as well,” said Hayes. “He was the coach that the kids could really come to when they needed someone to talk to.”
With just two days before the Blue Devils opening game with Backyard rival Tyrone, there were grief counselors available at Bellwood-Antis for both the players and Miller’s fellow faculty members and coaches. The players were assembled in the locker room and told of Miller’s passing. Friday night’s game will be played as scheduled.
“It’s been very tough emotionally, we weren’t blindsided by this, we knew it was coming,” said head Bellwood-Antis junior high coach Charlie Burch, “but it’s the finality that is tough to take.
“Randy’s first year teaching and coaching here was my senior year. I turned to him for advice in some personal problems and he helped me out then. I consider Randy my mentor. He brought me in as his assistant when he was coaching the junior high and when he moved up to the varsity, he gave me the confidence to become the head coach in his place on the junior high. I have a brother, but I have always thought of Randy as a Big Brother, our sons are the best of friends, and we have spent a lot of time together.”
His friends all stated that Miller was the embodiment of putting it all on the line, never giving up, or giving into anything, but especially in his fight against cancer, but Randy always had his priorities-his wife Karen and his sons, Tyson, 9 and Trevor, 5. He is also survived by a brother, Greg.
“Randy was in my wedding, we worked on construction jobs together, spent vacations with each other’s families. I will always have a lot of very special memories about Randy.” said fellow varsity assistant coach Nick Lovrich. “Randy was in my wedding, we worked on construction jobs together, spent vacations with each other’s families. I will always have a lot of very special memories about Randy. We were all thrilled by his miraculous comeback after his cancer was first detected. He went downhill from last January, and that was very tough for Randy and for all of us. He showed tremendous fight and heart.
“Some people get angry, or ask ‘why me’. Randy never did that. He was able to beat it for awhile, then it just got too overwhelming for him. He was such a great person, there are so many people who looked up to Randy. He holds a special place in a lot of people’s hearts. Randy will surely be missed greatly.”
B-A assistant coach Bill Crowell was among those who knew Miller best, meeting when the two were at California University of Pennsylvania and also sharing the industrial arts department at Bellwood, recalled his friend and associate as a man of great faith and strong Christian values.
“Randy is in a better place now after suffering through the last weeks,”
“There are so many things I could say,” recounted Hayes, “so many different little stories and anecdotes that describe the kind of man that Randy was. He’s gone, but we are left with a lot of good memories forever.
“That’s what we will move on with.”