Beloved Allen baseball coach killed at Lake Tawakoni

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by STEVE STOLER

WFAA

Posted on July 5, 2012 at 8:25 PM

Updated Thursday, Jul 5 at 8:25 PM

ALLEN - Youth baseball coaches are teaching children about loss today in Allen.

Coach Rick Miller went fishing on Lake Tawakoni, and died in a mysterious boating accident. The boat was found, still running.

Texas game wardens say he went fishing Tuesday morning. His wife called authorities when she never heard back from him. A search turned up his boat, which was still in gear. They later found his body nearby.

"The toughest part is not having the answers that people will want for closure," said Andy Summers, who shared coaching duties with Miller.

Those who knew Miller say he had three favorite things in life: his family, the outdoors and baseball.

He volunteered with the Allen Sports Association. In addition to being a coach, he served as the baseball program's treasurer.

"And the treasurer work, it's not something that everybody always wants to do and spend time with, but he was willing to put forth the effort to help us out," said Todd Thompson, the association’s Baseball Commissioner.

The boys on Miller's team just knew him as Coach Rick. To them, he was mentor, teacher, and friend.

They told News 8 what they'll miss the most about him.

"He taught me a lot," said Kolby Branch, one of his players. “And he was a really good coach. He loved me."

Andy Summers shared coaching duties with Miller. He said they taught boys baseball is not all about winning and losing, but learning how to be confident in life.

"He leaves behind a family, but he also leaves behind a family of a lot of other boys,” Summers said. “And he loved those boys like he loved his son."

Miller worked for Hewlett-Packard in Plano. He is survived by his wife and two children and dozens of young players who believe he had an impact on their lives.

"Even though it's a short life, at least he made an impact on others," Thompson said.

E-mail bwatson@wfaa.com

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