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by Judith Hruz
Numerous superlatives can be attached to Bob Milloy. And there is a good chance more will come now that he is retiring from coaching football after nearly five decades. “It just seemed to be the right time,” he said.
As for his legacy, the list is long: Winningest football record in Maryland high school history.
Four consecutive Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC) championships (2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012).
His undefeated 2011 team was ranked No. 4 in the nation by ESPN. Four-time No. 1 ranking by The Washington Post.
He is a member of the DC Sports Hall of Fame, Maryland High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame, National High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame and the Springbrook High School Hall of Fame.
If you want to sum him up by the numbers, they tell the tale, too:
Wins as a high school coach: 405
High school coaching career: 47 years
Years coaching at Our Lady of Good Counsel: 16
Record at Good Counsel: 142-41.
And the honors, they are numerous, too:
The Pigskin Club of Washington named him Coach of the Year 1981, 1990, 1996 and 2007.
Not to be outdone, the Touchdown Club of Washington named him its Coach of the Year four times, as well, in 1980, 1988, 1995 and 2012.
And, yes, and Coach of the Decade 1990.
But even Milloy, proud as he might be of his career, would tell you that the impact he had on his players and the relationships he developed along the way are what he will remember.
“I was blessed with a lot of really wonderful kids,” he said. “And I’ve had great assistant coaches. The best. Loyal, hard-working, smart coaches,” he added. “And the parents were fantastic. And the administrators. You can’t be successful without good administrators.”
Milloy started coaching junior varsity football at DeMatha High School in 1967, and then moved on to Walt Whitman and Springbrook high schools before heading to Sherwood High School and Good Counsel.
Neil Greenberger, the legislative information officer for the Montgomery County Council, spent 20 years as a reporter and editor at The Washington Post, and knows Milloy from his stint as local sports editor.
He lauded the coach for how well he served the school – players, coaches, parents and administrators – because he worked for all of them and “played within the rules, whether public or private. And that’s not an easy thing to do.”
A dozen people would agree that it is as much about the kind of person he is off the field as on the field.
“Bob will always be known for being the winningest football coach in Maryland, but anybody who knows him will tell you that he is the hardest ‘working’ coach, as well,” said Carter Willson, longtime area resident and 1973 graduate of Sherwood High School, where he played football, wrestling and baseball.
“He spent countless hours preparing his players for the next game,” Willson added. “He earned the love and respect from all of his players and all his players will forever be grateful for the opportunity to play for him, especially as the years pass by.”
Greenberger agreed. “As much as anybody he cared about all of the kids, not just the stars,” he said. “He wanted them all to enjoy being on the team. And they all loved playing for him.”
Willson, who has known Milloy since their daughters played recreation league basketball in the early 1990’s, said Milloy is “the kind of coach that does not really talk much about winning the game. He talks to his kids about hard work, dedication, loyalty, earning the right to play and the leave-it-all-on-the-field attitude. When you do these things, you will have positive results.”
Greenberger said Milloy went out of his way to make sure his players received the media attention they deserved.
“To some coaches, it is beneath them to talk to reporters,” he said. “Not Bob. He understood that helping journalists meant helping the kids.”
As for his future, his retirement will allow him to spend more time with his wife and three grown children.
And, perhaps, do something other than think about football.
“Coaching used to be a five- or six-month job, now it’s year-round,” Greenberger said.
He lauded Milloy for giving so many years to the sports and to the players, and for doing so in a way that not only taught the young men about football, but about life.
“There won’t be too many more Bob Milloys,” he said.
And as for his legacy, that’s easy, Willson said.
It will be the “great life lessons that he has instilled in thousands of kids.”
Judith Hruz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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