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Myra Miles retired as Hoover High School athletics director last summer after a 30-year career in public school service and athletics. In November, she was elected to the Alabama High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame. She will be inducted in Montgomery at a ceremony in March. Professionally, she has accepted a position with TNT Fireworks. As she departs the Hoover High scene -- literally in a blaze of fireworks as a TNT display went off after the Bucs’ Class 7A State Football Championship at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn -- she shared a few thoughts.
When you started out your coaching career at Haleyville did you have any idea you’d someday be in the AHSAA Hall of Fame?
Never in a million years did I think I would be inducted into the AHSAA Hall of Fame when my career began.
When you accepted the position as Hoover High athletics director, things were a little rocky after football coach Rush Propst left. You’d been there as a coach and teacher and knew what you were getting into. What gave you the confidence that you could succeed in such a high-pressure situation at such a visible program?
It all goes back to having a great coaching staff as well as outstanding administrative support from so many people. Sure it was difficult at times but what job isn’t difficult? My passion has always been to help others, and I have stayed true to that since my career began. When you are helping others, in return others are always there to help you!
Football is king in Alabama, and certainly Hoover High has turned into a national brand because of it. Are the football rites what you’re proudest of during your time as AD?
Let me say that I am extremely proud of everything our football program has accomplished in Alabama and also what our kids and coaches have achieved on the national stage. But what I am the proudest of is that our entire boys and girls programs have also excelled in the state. Hands down, Hoover High School has the strongest athletic program in the state. Every single team, boys and girls, are competing in the top 10 each and every year. Our football team drives the train but all of our other sports are on the track with them.
What was the best advice anyone gave you when you took the position? What advice did you give Andy Urban as your replacement?
Best advice anyone gave me was to be consistent and allow your coaches to run their programs. I told Andy to do the same thing basically. Let the coaches know you are there for them but let them run their program. Above all, I stressed to him to support each and every team the same way. Always do what is best for kids and everything will be fine.
What will you miss most about Hoover High? And will you continue to live here?
Honestly, what I miss the most is my office staff, Coach Urban, Mr. Hulin and our great assistant principals. But not seeing my coaches and the kids every day really was the toughest adjustment. I love my Hoover Buc family. For now I will still live here but will eventually move to Florence.
What’s next on the horizon for you? (Obviously it’s TNT Fireworks, but I’ll let you explain that.)
I am very excited about one of our newest fundraising programs. We will be launching this program in March with schools, churches and nonprofit groups.
Have you closed the door on athletics administration or coaching again? You’re still a very young 53.
I can’t say I will close the door to athletic administration, but right now my only focus is being the best VP of Business Development that I can be. I have been blessed my entire career. I have always surrounded myself with people that are a lot smarter than me and also have a passion for helping others. Andy Urban and his assistant Lisa Bridgman are doing a fantastic job, and I am so proud of them. They will continue to lead the entire athletic program upward to great things.