Willard Stepping Down at Miller School

Scott Willard says he's had a great four four-year run as athletic director and boys basketball coach at the Miller School. But that run will soon be coming to an end.

Willard will step down from those positions at the end of the current school year.

"Anytime you spend four years at one place, and had such an unbelievable time working with fantastic people, the decision's always tough," Willard said Tuesday afternoon at the school. "But it's time to move on."

Willard said his top priority at Miller was "to leave it better than you found it," with an emphasis on attracting kids who excelled as both students and athletes.

Under Willard, the Mavericks' basketball program produced a number of Division I players. Andrew White just completed his first season at Kansas, while senior Aram Martin is bound for Brown, and junior Isaac Copeland committed to Georgetown earlier this year.

"Certainly proud of that," Willard said. "Because these kids worked their tails off here in the gym, but they certainly did the same thing at school and within the community. And when you talk about ambassadors to the program, that's the kind of stuff that coaches and administration, that we get proud of."

Ralf Melis -- who played college basketball at UNC-Asheville, and also spent time playing professionally in Europe and as a member of the Dutch national team -- will take over the boys basketball program at Miller. Melis is a math teacher at the school, and the Mavericks' junior varsity coach.

Miller girls basketball coach James Braxton will become the school's new athletic director.

Willard isn't sure what his next step will be, saying he has a few prep school and college coaching opportunities he's weighing. But he says a part of him will remain at Miller.

"I think we're on a national map now, given our accomplishments and the student athletes we put out of here. So hopefully it's going to continue to build," he said. "And I'm certainly going to be a part of it from afar, rooting those guys on."

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