Abilene Christian High School head football coach Daren Miller grew up around coaches, but that wasn’t his career of choice, at first.

Coach Miller said, “Teaching and coaching was the furthest thing from my mind.”

The influence of his dad and other coaches in his life actually led him to the world of coaching.

Miller added, “My dad was still coaching. He was my coach in high school, along with Kenny Davidson. They’re still a very big part of my life, and I talk to them quite often and pick their brain and try to live off some of their success.”

This is Miller’s second season as the Panthers head coach, and his 18th season as a coach. 17 of those years were in the private school arena.

Miller said, “It’s a personal thing to me playing private school football, but it’s more enjoyable to do what we do when you have good kids, so you’re not going home pulling your hair out or what’s left of your hair.”

Miller says how you can talk to the players is one of the real draws of coaching at a school like ACHS.

Miller added, “To be able to pray freely, to be able to talk about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, that’s huge. That’s the norm for me. For me to be in another sector that it wasn’t, that would be a challenge.”

Conversations like that are common at Abilene Christian, and the players appreciate the fact they can talk to their coach anytime they want.

Bryce McGlothlin said, “It’s really freeing. He’ll answer any question that we have, and we know that in some places you really can’t do that. It’s nice to know that he’ll give us an honest answer about things in life.”

Nathan Garza said, “Having a coach that really cares about you and really care about our religious beliefs is really important to us, the community is really important to this family and this team. We pray with each other after school. He asks us everyday for prayer requests. He loves to pray over us and over our family. He can really bless us.”

It’s not just his Christianity that draws his players to him. They like the overall feel of the program with Miller leading the way.

McGlothlin added, “Just trying to be better people than we are. He’s also our Bible teacher and our coach, so he teaches us how to be good sportsmen and grow up as good men.”

Miller added, “If I can give them have of the enjoyment that I received from my coaches playing football, I will count it as a success, but to be able to do that, I feel very blessed.”

ACHS head coach Darrin Miller is the Abilene Teachers Federal Credit Union Coach of the Week.