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Al Miller's alligator tale, all true
by Paul Kennedy, May 1st, 2012 7:31PM

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TAGS:  hall of fame, off the post

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[OFF THE POST] At the age of 75, U.S. National Hall of Famer Al Miller has long since given up coaching, but he still likes to play golf.

Miller, who coached at Hartwick College, won an NASL title with the Philadelphia Atoms in 1973 and briefly coached the U.S. national team, got more than he bargained for fetching an errant shot in a Florida pond recently.

As he turned to leave, a nine-foot alligator grabbed a hold of his knee and threw him three feet in the air.

Fortunately, the alligator let go, but not before leaving a cut that required 40 stitches in Miller's knee.

"You'll never get me to look at a gator, touch a gator or eat a gator," he told the Ledger.

Miller, 75, was golfing at at Lake Ashton Golf and Country Club in Lake Wales.

His three golfing partners came to his rescue as the alligator tried to pull him into the water.

"He let me go," Miller told the Ledger. "I was three feet from my life. He had me submerged up to my belt buckle. That was my miracle of the month."

The 190-pound alligator left a nasty cut.

"He just filleted me," said Miller. "You could see into the bone."

Miller's job out of college was that of a college golf coach.

He helped build tiny Hartwick into a national soccer powerhouse in the late 1960s and early 1970s before leaving to coach the Atoms. He later coached NASL teams in Dallas, Calgary and Tampa Bay. The rest of his soccer career was spent as the general manager of indoor teams in Cleveland.



3 comments
  1. Richard Broad
    commented on: May 2, 2012 at 8:42 a.m.
    Al Miller is a pretty tough guy. The gator got off easy.

  1. Ric Fonseca
    commented on: May 2, 2012 at 12:32 p.m.
    Indeed Coach Miller, whom I had the pleasure of meeting various times, some when he was running the US Soccer Coaching Classes in the early and late '70s, and then at the NSCAA conventions, is indeed one tough guy! Glad you're OK, Coach! All the best!

  1. R Moffat
    commented on: May 3, 2012 at 10:09 p.m.
    Any word on the Alligator?


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