|Miles named girls' had soccer coach
By Dan Manley
Advocate Sports Editor
Rodney Miles, a long-time assistant coach in the Montgomery County High School boys’ soccer program, is changing roles.
The former MCHS player was named last week as the new head coach for the girls’ program.
Miles started playing soccer in the second grade and as a player he helped lead the Indians to a state runner-up finish during his senior season.
Back in 2002 he was offered an assistant coaching position by Jeff Lendon, who got Miles started in soccer in the second grade and coached him in high school.
When Lendon retired, Miles continued on with Coach Nick Pannell through several successful seasons before sitting out last year.
“I definitely missed coaching,” he said.
Then the girls’ job opened up, Miles applied, and last Wednesday evening at the school’s cafeteria, athletic director Kevin Letcher introduced him as the new head coach.
“I’m really excited about the job ahead,” Miles said, “but I also know it’s going to be a challenge.
“I’ve coached boys in the past and I know there’s got to be some adjustment there. But I’ll be a fundamentals coach and I think that’s the key.”
Miles was a forward as a player and he feels like he’s been able to adjust with the game over the last couple of decades.
He calls it a “much different game” that it used to be.
When Miles played he said they made a lot of long passes downfield to try and set up scores. Not anymore.
“It’s a possession game and that’s what we’re going to concentrate on,” he said.
He admitted he’s going into the program really in the dark in terms of knowing the personnel. He saw the junior high program play this past spring and liked the potential of many of those players.
For now, the Lady Indians are having open practices a couple of nights a week and then they’ll come back right after the “dead period” and get going in earnest.
Miles said there have been close to 15 players showing up for the open sessions and hopes to have about 25 or more when they actually get ready to begin practice.
The Lady Indians have had winning seasons the last two years, under Diana Cline and then last year under first-year head coach Chris Follett. Both years saw the Lady Indians fail to get to the region.
Follett resigned after his team went 11-9-2 and he left behind a terrific group of sophomores-to-be for Miles.
“We’ll be a young team from everything I’ve seen so far but there’s some real talent there,” he added.
The Lady Indians were district runners-up in 2012 and 2013 under first, Kevin Reigle, and then Diana Cline in her first season at the helm.
But Miles is the fifth head coach the program has had in the last seven years, so stability is one of the major needs they have.
Miles will be handling the job as a para-professional. He’s employed as the warehouse manager at Langley Foods where he’s been on the job for the last dozen years.
He’ll have former Montgomery County soccer standout Willie Willoughby, who’s been on the staff the last few years, as one of his assistant coaches and former MCHS player Caroline Queen will complete the staff.
The Lady Indians will begin their season Aug. 16 against Franklin County and their first four dates with Franklin, Lexington Bryan Station, Harrison County and Russell come against teams they lost to a year ago.
Frederick Douglass, the new high school in Lexington, is also on the schedule, which also includes Ashland and Campbell County in addition to the district teams.
Letcher, who worked on the schedule in the absence of a head coach, said everything he heard was that they needed to play tougher competition and he tried to make that happen.
“I always hoped to be a head coach at some point and I’m just thankful I’m getting the chance,” Miles concluded.
The Lady Indians will begin practice for the fall season in mid-July following the end of the “dead period.”