Miller retires after 56 years

Published 10:35 am Tuesday, July 19, 2022

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BY C.Y. Peters

Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save. The trouble with retirement is that you never get a day off. There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life, and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.  It’s only a few weeks to “Football time in Tennessee” but for the first time in over five decades, TSSAA Official and Hall of Famer Shelby Miller will be watching from the sidelines.

Miller finished his 56th year as a football official, and through the years, he officiated many sports. He was a fast-pitch softball player for many years at Cherokee Park. Miller was the 90th referee to be inducted into the TSSAA Hall of Fame. The induction was postponed a year due to covid.  Making the HOF was special because it meant that Ralph Stout’s entire crew was now in the Hall of Fame. Along with Stout (1983) and Miller (2020), Billy Bob Garrison (2010), Blackcat Rasar (1994), Charlie McConnell (2002), and Larry Hutchinson (2013) are the only crew that every member has been inducted into the TSSAA HOF.

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Miller graduated in 1963 from Happy Valley High school,  where he played basketball, baseball and ran track. He officiated basketball for 25 years before going to only football. In basketball, he officiated two state tournaments, 11 sub-state games and several playoff games. Miller officiated in both the boys’ and girls’ state tournaments.  In football, he officiated five state tournament championships and officiated in 42 straight years in playoff games.

Miller served on the Elizabethton City Council for six years and was on the Mayor Pro term for two years.  He was employed at Inland Container for 34 years.  Through the years he was an Eagle Scout, President of the Elizabethton Lions Club,  a Shriner, and a member of the Elizabethton Chamber of Commerce.  He is a member of Gideon International.

Miller is in the Carter County Sports Hall of Fame and recently was presented the Jim Cradic Award at the National Football Foundation Awards Ceremony.   Many years during Christmas, he was in charge of assigning the officials for the annual Lions Club basketball tournament. In 2003 he won the A.F. Bridges Award for Official of the year.

Miller and his wife Creola have been married for 52 years. Now that he is retired, he will have more time to enjoy golf, pickleball, and gardening.