Robert “Bob” A. Miller
Robert “Bob” A. Miller, a native of Portage, Pennsylvania, played halfback for the Emory & Henry football team from 1948-51. He played during the era before official school statistics were kept, but estimates based on newspaper clippings and old microfilm indicate that he accumulated a total career “ground gain” (a combination of rushing, receiving, and returns) of over 3,000 yards. Miller, who was known as “The Emory Express” for his rushing ability, was inducted as a charter member into the E&H Sports Hall of Fame in 1972.
Miller, who had intended to go to Florida State on a football scholarship before Coach Conley Snidow convinced him to join the Wasps, made quite an impact at Emory & Henry College. In his sophomore year, Miller was named to the Little All-America Second-Team and the All-Little Six First-Team, and he was the top scorer in Virginia, with a total of 102 points over twelve games. The team itself had a perfect 10-0 record. His junior year, 1950, he was both a Little-All America and All-Little Six first-teamer and again led the state in scoring, with 114 points in 11 games. He capped off his senior year as a three-time All-American and three-time top scorer in the state of Virginia, as well as being named the Virginia State All-Division Player of the Year.
Over Miller’s four-year career, the Wasps went 31-8-1, mounting an impressive 28-1-1 record during his sophomore through senior years. In 1949 and 1950, the Wasps were invited to the Burley Bowl and the Tangerine Bowl. He scored a career total of 379 points, the highest in college history at the time of his graduation. His estimated ground gain record stood for thirty-five years until it was broken by the legendary Hall of Fame member Sandy Rogers in 1986. His jersey number has been retired by the Emory & Henry football team, a distinction he shares with only three other players.
Miller was a U.S. Army veteran, having served in the Korean War. While in the Army, he played football for the base team at Fort Eustis until he injured a knee. After his service, he settled in Tazewell, where he was teacher and football coach at Tazewell High School for nine years. He went on to become a businessman and real estate developer in the Tazewell area, and he served on the town council and the board of governors.
Robert Miller died of a heart attack on December 1996 in Bluefield, West Virginia. Miller left Emory & Henry holding 10 records, and in 2006 he was inducted posthumously into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame.