Max Miller has been hired as coach of the Watterson High School girls volleyball team after spending the past 13 seasons coaching one of its CCL rivals.
Miller compiled a 250-104 record at Hartley, guiding the Hawks to the Division II state title in 2011 and five CCL championships in the past eight years. The Hawks were state runners-up in 2007 and a state semifinalist in 2008 and 2009.
Last fall, Hartley finished 16-9 overall and lost to DeSales 25-20, 25-22, 37-35 in a district final, ending its streak of seven consecutive district titles.
“It was a very difficult decision to leave Hartley and it’s going to be an interesting transition,” Miller said. “My wife and I recently moved to the Worthington area, about four minutes from Watterson, and we have a son who is close to 8-months-old. We used to live on the east side of Westerville, much closer to Hartley, but now we’re a 30-minute drive from Hartley.
“I was already thinking about doing something new. Like most coaches, you’re always looking to stay emotionally charged and excited about your job, and that was getting more difficult to do every year. But I’m really excited about this new challenge.”
Miller replaces Chuck Gleich, who stepped down after spending more than three decades on the Watterson coaching staff, including the past 18 years as head coach.
“I did what I could and gave the program everything I had for 31 seasons,” Gleich said. “I got to work with so many great student-athletes and had great support from their families and Watterson’s administration. I just felt like it was time to move on and let someone have a shot at it.
“I’m very happy to have coach Miller come in because he has the passion you need to lead this team. The cupboard isn’t bare at Watterson and it never will be. I’m sure coach Miller will do a great job.”
Last fall, Watterson finished 12-11 overall and placed third in the CCL at 4-4, behind DeSales (7-1) and Hartley (6-2) and ahead of Watterson (4-4), Ready (3-5) and Columbus School for Girls (0-8).
The Eagles lost to Gahanna 25-20, 25-17, 14-25, 25-11 in the second round of the Division I district tournament, snapping their streak of two consecutive district titles.