Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

September 7, 2013

Miller out as St. Anthony baseball coach

Replaced with assistant Koenig

By RYAN CZACHORSKI
Daily News

---- — Kenny Miller is no longer the coach of St. Anthony Bulldogs baseball team after he was relieved of his duties Friday afternoon.

Miller met with Principal Greg Fearday and Athletic Director Kevin Palmer just after noon Friday and was given a letter stating that due to "unprofessional conduct,” he was no longer the St. Anthony baseball coach.

"I haven't done anything wrong or nothing I haven't done for the last five years," Miller said Saturday morning.

Miller has been replaced by assistant coach Kenny Koenig, who coached the team Friday afternoon in its 4-2 loss to Windsor/Stew-Stras.

It was Miller's fifth year on the job. He was the coach for the 2012 Class 1A state championship team and was also named the Class 1A Coach of the Year for the 2012 season in January 2013.

Miller tallied an 84-53-1 record in his four seasons of spring ball, culminating in the 31-8-1 season and the state championship win over Tuscola in 2012.

"We would like to thank Kenny (Miller) for all he's done for St. Anthony and wish him luck in the future," Palmer said.

Palmer declined further comment Saturday morning.

Miller said during Friday's meeting he was handed the letter and told his services were no longer needed. He added he was asked to resign but declined.

"At one point, they asked me to resign. If I resign, it looks like I did something wrong," Miller said.

Miller said he asked for further explanation of the decision or what the alleged unprofessional conduct was, but was not given any.

"No elaboration on that, no explanation," he said. "I understand them not wanting to give an explanation to anyone else, but I felt I was owed an  explanation."

Miller believes his coaching style may have played a role, but that was not specified.

"If that explanation had been I'm too rough on the kids, if that explanation was I use words you shouldn't use at a Catholic school, OK. I'm not changing my ways," he said. "But nothing."

The Bulldogs finished the 2013 season 19-11 and lost in their first playoff game at the 2A level.  

St. Anthony started the fall season with a 4-1 record under Miller and fell to 4-2 with the loss Friday.

Miller served as an assistant coach at Effingham Junior High and the head coach of both the junior and senior American Legion teams at Effingham Post 120 before coming to St. Anthony in 2009.

"I'll miss the boys," he said. "It was a big part of my life, and I feel like it was taken away."

St. Anthony's next game is against Beecher City/Cowden-Herrick at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at home.