Harry Miller wasn't a man of many hobbies away from the hardwood.
"My dad was a basketball coach," youngest son Gary Miller said. "It was basketball. When it's not basketball season, you're on the road recruiting or you do camps. We would tag along in some cases, and Mom would go with him."
But when he stepped back into his home, he was Dad, and Coach Miller could wait.
Remembered as a father, a friend and a role model, Miller died Wednesday at 86 in Nacogdoches, Texas, more than 24 years after he retired from Stephen F. Austin University and almost 44 seasons after leading the Eastern New Mexico University Greyhounds to their only national championship in basketball.
He also coached at Wichita State, North Texas, Fresno State and Western State.
Born Jan. 26, 1927, in Indiana's Brown County, Miller grew up in Martinsville, Ind., where he played high school basketball.
He was drafted into the Air Force in 1945, and started his college days in Tulane before arriving at Eastern New Mexico, where former athletic director B.B. Lees said he was the school's first All-American.
The two roomed next to each other in college, Lees said, making for an easy transition when Lees took over athletic director duties when Joe Dixon passed away — a year after Miller was hired to coach the Greyhounds.
"I knew everything about him there was to know," Lees said, "and he knew everything about me there was to know."
Miller's first game coaching the Greyhounds in 1965-66 wasn't the greatest debut, with ENMU losing 89-38. But the loss has taken on more impact over the years — it came to Texas Western, who later that year won the NCAA championship over Kentucky as the first team to start five black players.
The game was later inaccurately depicted in "Glory Road," the Disney film about the Miners' title season. The ENMU team was presented as a below average team without any black players, but Miller's team had five black players and started two of them.
Bob Miller, the oldest of three sons and a 1970 graduate of Portales High School, said in many respects the NAIA stood head to head with the NCAA.
"The NAIA, at that time, that was before a lot of (NCAA) schools integrated, so the NAIA schools had a lot of the African-Americans who would be playing in the bigger leagues (otherwise)," Bob Miller said. "When (the Greyhounds) played Texas Western — not the first year, but the fourth year — they played them very competitively."
The family looked forward to the trips to Kansas City for the national tournaments, but it was all business for the coach on the court, with a fluid offense that championed moving without the ball.
"His offense was probably the best in the nation," middle son Tom Miller said. "All I remember was the squeaking tennis shoes, because they would be moving that ball until they got a layup.
"That year they won the NAIA championship, zero turnovers. I don't know if there have been many teams that played their championship game with zero turnovers. I've got tape to prove it."
Bob Miller remembered Saturday nights as Greyhound basketball nights, with fans coming from as far away as Milnesand to pack Greyhound Arena.
"One of the things I really remember is when they won the national championship, and the team landed in Amarillo," Bob Miller said. "When they hit the New Mexico state line, both sides of the highway were stacked with cars all the way to Portales. People were just so proud, they lined the roads. It was really amazing."
But inside the home, the adulation wasn't important, and he was just the guy who would give them fatherly advice and burn chicken on the smoker in the backyard.
"As a kid growing up, you were known because you were Harry Miller's son," Tom Miller said. "We didn't have football (at Wichita State), so it was already a basketball town. Everybody knew who Harry Miller was, so everybody knew who I was. That being said, he did not like the limelight. He was still a very humble man. He enjoyed his players and the game, but when he came home he was Dad and all of that was out the window."
Miller succeeded wherever he went as a coach, including a 104-37 mark at ENMU and a 534-374 mark for his career. He went 170-112 with Stephen F. Austin, and helped the squad transition into Division I.
"A lot of folks don't realize that Coach Miller's SFA teams made postseason appearances in three divisions. He took teams to the NAIA National Tournament, the NCAA Division II Tournament and to the NIT. That's amazing," Stephen F. Austin Athletic Director Robert Hill said in a release. "I always believed that when a game was on the line the difference would be Harry Miller. I watched him out coach his opponent many times to win close games. He was so good at it."
His influence after the game was felt, as well, as Bob Miller said player after player in consolation calls considered the coach to be the second-biggest influence in their lives after their father.
Gary Miller could relate.
"My dad's always had a big influence on our lives," he said. "We could always talk to him if we wanted to talk about things. One of the things I'll miss is calling him up. Almost every major decision in life I've consulted both my dad and God about."
Funeral services for Miller are set for Monday at 10 a.m. (CST) at the North Street Church of Christ in Nacogdoches.