The Huntsville Item, Huntsville, TX

Local News

November 19, 2008

Rodeo team riding high with new coach

In late July, local minister and cowboy Bubba Miller was hired as the new Sam Houston State University rodeo coach, taking the helm of one of the most prestigious programs in collegiate rodeo history.

Today, halfway through his first season, he still holds the same thrill he did the day he got the job.

“This is phenomenal,” Miller said. “We’ve got an outstanding group of youngsters that are working hard both in the classroom and in the arena.”

Miller is no stranger to rodeo competition. He rode professionally in rodeos across the country for more than a decade, and has coached young cowboys of all age levels at his Branded for Christ Cowboy Church and Rodeo School just north of Huntsville. When he joined the SHSU rodeo family, he found a particular challenge in renewing a part of the sport that he specializes in.

“Our biggest challenge is the roughstock riding,” he said. “We are very limited in roughstock riding on our men’s team, and of course, that’s my specialty. So that’s one area we’ll really be trying to beef up in the near future.”

The SHSU teams were both coming off strong seasons from 2007-08, with the women winning first in their region and the men finishing third, when Miller took the coaching job.

In order to improve upon their previous successes, Miller’s first order of business was to bring the team closer.

“I’ve always tried to push being team-oriented,” he said. “We’ve tried to build that up by having regular team meetings at local restaurants, and we’ve just got a new title sponsor. Wiesner of Huntsville just agreed to sponsor us, and I just want to thank them, because community support really helps to bolster our team.”

This year, Miller is coach to 54 students, 44 of which are returning members of last year’s rodeo squad.

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