Ralph Miller

Ralph Miller (1919-2001)

Teams coached: Wichita Shockers, Iowa Hawkeyes, Oregon State Beavers
Wichita State record: 220-133 (.623)
Iowa record: 95-51 (.651)
Oregon State: 342-198 (.633) **
Overall record: 657-382 (.832) **

Career Accomplishments:


Coaching Career (head coach, unless noted):

1970-1989 Oregon State
1964-1970 Iowa
1951-1964 Wichita

Ralph Miller Facts

  • Ralph H. Miller
  • Born March 9, 1919
  • Died May 15, 2001
  • Hometown: Chanute, Kansas
  • Alma Mater: University of Kansas (BA, 1942)
  • Played for legendary head coach Phog Allen at Kansas, while also playing football (QB) and competing in track and field
    • Sat in on a guest lecture from basketball creator Dr. James Naismith while in undergrad at KU
  • Spent three years in the US Army Air Forces working mostly desk jobs due to nagging knee problems
  • Started coaching in 1949 at East High School in Wichita, KS, spending three years as the school; forming the innovative Pressure Basketball System he would use throughout his career, Miller’s team won a state title in his third and final year
  • Hired in 1951 at Wichita, coaching the Shockers for thirteen seasons, winning 220 games and going to three NITs and one NCAA Tournament
  • Spent the next six seasons in the Big Ten at Iowa, winning 95 games with the Hawkeyes and winning two conference titles
  • Miller’s final and longest tenure was a nineteen-year run as the head coach at Oregon State, winning four Pac-8/Pac-10 titles and going to the NCAA Tournament eight times (three were later vacated)
    • Miller won several national coach of the year awards at Oregon State and was twice named the conference’s top coach
    • The most successful run was between 1979 and 1982, when the Beavers had an overall record of 77-11, won three straight conference titles and earned the nickname “The Orange Express”
      • Unfortunately, those teams were later found to have included ineligible players and all three NCAAT appearances have since been vacated
    • Also lost 15 wins from the 1975-76 season after it was found that a player had signed with an agent while still in school
  • Miller retired following the 1988-89 season at the age of 70, finishing his career with an official record of 657-382
    • The floor at Oregon State’s Gill Coliseum is named “Ralph Miller Court” in his honor
    • His alma mater – Chanute High School – also named their gym after him

Ralph Miller Coaching Tree

  • Jim Anderson (Oregon State)
  • David Leach (Boise State)
  • Dick Schultz (Iowa)
  • Gary Thompson (Wichita State)
  • Lanny Van Eman (Arkansas)


** Listed accomplishments for this coach do not include wins or appearances later vacated by the NCAA