PISCATAWAY, N.J. (March 28, 2013) – Director of Athletics Tim Pernetti has announced the naming of the Miller Family Soccer Complex to house the Scarlet Knights’ practice facilities behind Yurcak Field. The project, which is already underway thanks to a generous donation by RU soccer alum Mike Miller (RC ’91) and his family, will include resurfacing of two practice fields, new fencing and an improved irrigation system.
“Rutgers is a very special place for me and my family,” said Miller. “We are so excited that we can give back to a school and program that has meant so much to us.”
The new practice facility, which includes a dedicated field for the men’s soccer program, will also benefit the women’s soccer team and add to the Scarlet Knights’ game-day home, the Soccer/Lacrosse Stadium at Yurcak Field, already recognized as one of the premier soccer facilities in America.
Miller, along with his father Joel (RC ’63, RBSG ’64), previously provided funding for the Miller Soccer Center located in the Hale Center. The Miller Soccer Center, which includes a state-of-the-art film room, offices and locker rooms, gives the men’s soccer program the best facilities in the nation.
"We are truly grateful to Mike, Joel and the entire Miller family for the continued support of our soccer program." said Pernetti. "Mike was a tremendous part of our program as a student-athlete, and there's no better story than one of our own, staying involved, and stepping up to support the future."
“Mike Miller played in an era when Rutgers University men’s soccer had great successes and competed for national championships every year, so he understands what is needed and what it takes for national prominence,” said men's soccer head coach Dan Donigan. “We are very excited to have a training ground exclusively for men's soccer. The coaching staff and players are very appreciative to have this facility to prepare us as we move into the Big Ten Conference. In addition to having one of the premiere stadiums in the country, we will now have a first class, state-of-the-art training complex for team and player development,”
Miller was a member of one of the most magical runs in Rutgers athletics history helping the Scarlet Knight men’s soccer team to the national championship game as a senior in the fall of 1990.
That season, RU dominated top-ranked UCLA in the Met Life Classic, with Miller earning All-Tournament Team honors The Scarlet Knights followed its win over the Bruins with a streak of over 600 consecutive minutes of shutout soccer that spanned six matches. Rutgers went on to capture the Atlantic-10 title with a 3-1 overtime victory over Penn State and posted victories over Adelphi and Dartmouth on its way to its second consecutive Final Four appearance.
In the national semifinal, the Scarlet Knights faced the only remaining undefeated team in the country in top-ranked Evansville. Miller’s first half goal would be the only scoring in the match and the 16th shutout of the year as RU would knock off its second number one team that season. While Rutgers would fall 1-0 in rematch with UCLA in the national title game, the Bruins needed four overtimes to get past the Scarlet Knights.
During his three-year career, Miller and the Scarlet Knights went a combined 52-12-7, including a 5-2 mark in NCAA Tournament games with a pair of Final Four appearances. The 20 wins by the 1989 and 1990 squads still hold as the Rutgers record for the most victories in a season
A three-time scholar-athlete and dean’s list student, Miller graduated in 1991 with a degree in economics. Miller came to Rutgers from Edison’s J.P Stevens High School where he scored 61 goals in his three-year career and was named a Star Ledger First Team All-State member.
“We are incredibly thankful to Mike and his family for their generosity and support,” added Donigan. “The Miller Family Soccer Complex will be one of the best training facilities in the country. People will see this project as a commitment to compete for a national championship.”