Just For Kicks
Ric Miller says it is his job to keep the ship sailing straight as director of coaching for the Mililani Soccer Club.
Miller takes head
spot for Mililani
Miller ascended to the post when Bob Barry, his high school coach and long-time mentor, resigned to assume the same position with the Volcanos Soccer Club in Kailua.
It was a natural move for Miller, a 44-year-old stock broker who has lived in Mililani for some time.
"Bob Barry did a terrific job and put a lot of things in place. Every Mililani SC coach is licensed. I want to continue that process and encourage our coaches to obtain more advanced licenses," said Miller, who holds an advanced national coaching license.
"I'm impressed with how much the parents sacrifice."
The club has over 500 players and 33 teams which are broken into competitive, recreational and developmental to meet the needs of players with varying degrees of skill.
Miller learned soccer in Germany where his father was in the military.
This early start gave him an advantage over local players when he helped Iolani claim the first two state titles while winning Interscholastic League of Honolulu scoring crowns.
He went to Seattle Pacific, playing for the legendary Cliff McCrath, and was part of the 1978 NCAA Division II national championship team.
Drafted by Seattle in 1980, he played a season for the Sounders in the North American Soccer League, then a year for the San Francisco Gales in the American Soccer League, before finishing his degree in business finance.
Returning to Hawaii, Miller continued to play in the local adult leagues for several years.
He began coaching when a co-worker asked him to help her husband's youth team.
"I found out just because you played your whole life, it doesn't mean you can coach," Miller said. "I called a lot of people I respect, Bob Barry, Bob Clague, McCrath, to find out about coaching.
"A couple of weeks later, Bob Clague asked me if I want to coach at Punahou. I thought about the Iolani-Punahou thing and what my classmates would say, but it was great for me.
"My goal is to help improve the quality of soccer in Hawaii to the point where we can compete with any other state and to have one of our teams win a national championship."
Cherif Guirguis, a senior striker from Iolani, is the leading scorer for the Cal Poly Pomona Broncos with eight goals and for assists for 20 points.
Gary Cabanilla, a senior striker from Kamehameha, has scored seven goals for the California Lutheran Kingsmen.
Shanon Hopkins (Hilo) beat goalkeeper Ryan Stanley (Kaiser) in a one-on-one situation last Saturday to give the Linfield Wildcats a 1-0 victory over the Pacific Boxers.
Moani Lau (Kamehameha), a sophomore defender, is the leading scorer for the Boxers women's team with three goals and two assists.
Gabby Ahmadia (Waiakea) is the second leading scorer for the Humboldt State Lumberjacks. The junior midfielder has scored eight goals and assisted on four others.
Ben Swan (Konawaena) has 12 goals and six assists in nine matches for the 13-0-1 Arcadia University Scarlet Knights.