Coach Miller dribbles into a new position


Ema Paskevicius

Coach Miller and the DGS varsity boys basketball team huddle and strategize their next plays.

Ema Paskevicius, Copy Editor

The DGS boys basketball team has recently been introduced to a new head coach, Zachary Miller. While some current seniors have had four years of experience with previous head coach Kristopher Olson, transitioning and applying current skills when a new coach steps in comes with its own rules and expectations.

However, coach Miller is not a fresh face to DGS basketball; he is a special services teacher at DGS and was an assistant coach for two years before stepping up his position as the boys basketball head coach. Miller has also had previous experience with basketball and withholding a team at another high school.

“I was assistant coach the last two years at Downers South and I was an assistant coach at West Aurora previously,” Miller said.

According to Miller, his transition wasn’t exactly the easiest, but is better described as a new and more welcoming experience. Miller has built relationships with many boys on the basketball team, and has watched the boys grow as players on the court.

“Any new goal is always going to be a little difficult but I think the good thing was [that] I had pretty good relationships with all of these seniors and juniors prior to the season. They were my first group so getting to know them, having established all of that; we kind of hit it off this summer right away and so we kind of already knew coming into the season how things were wanted to be run. But, obviously, there’s always going to be a learning curve with a new coach into the system,” Miller said.

Sophomore William Potter dribbles the ball while keeping an eye out for the opposing player. (Ema Paskevicius)

Miller is now regarded at the highest position in which he feels prepared for, considering he was constantly watching and acquiring coaching methods through Olson. Grasping and continuing to keep the boys under control and in focus during both practices and games was trouble-free for Miller, yet new implications still had to be set.

“Now you’re in control, making all the calls. I think as an assistant coach [you] always think about what you could do or what you would possibly want to do. But now you don’t get a chance to go back and think about it. I think in that part it’s a little different,” Miller said. “But I feel that Khris Olson, the former head coach, gave me a lot of freedom and a lot of responsibility over these last two years and kind of helped prepare me for this situation as best he could, so I do feel like I was ready to ‘move that one seat over’ to the head coach’s role.”

Senior Nathan Waterman has formed a connection with Miller and has watched him step up to take on the new challenge of becoming the head coach. With Miller watching Waterman grow as a player, Waterman believes that Miller is to be trusted with the position he’s been given.

“Coach has really set great standards within our program about teamwork that I believe can help us to have a successful season. I believe that Coach has put us in a great spot and I know everyone trusts him fully to give us a good chance to win,” Waterman said.

Senior Nathan Waterman prepares for a throw in at the Naperville North vs DGS basketball game. (Ema Paskevicius)

Miller admits that some days may be more stressful than others, but it all comes down to genuinely enjoying playing the game of basketball and building team bonding skills. As standards for playing and winning games continue to be held high for the team, Miller wants Waterman, and other current seniors, to enjoy their last year on the DGS basketball team. Miller wants the seniors walking out of DGS feeling like they have accomplished something.

“This has been a dream of mine for a long time and I’m really happy that I got to share it with this group of guys… Sunday, when we’re not with each other, I almost miss them and I’m looking forward to practice the next day. So I think that’s the thing in mind; I want to do everything I can to make sure that the senior class has the most success and the most fun that they’ve had in four years when they walk out of here,” Miller said.

Walking out of the DGS basketball program with lessons learned and the most fun that the boys have had is something that Miller holds of true value. The DGS boys basketball team will continue to work together to reach their full potential and strive for greatness this winter season.

“We are excited to have fans back and have Coach Miller on board,” Waterman said.