JM: I just recently learned about Matt Miller’s prostate cancer struggle. It’s a very sad story. I didn’t know Matt personally, but we attended K-State during the same years. Kansas City Star columnist Vahe Gregorian wrote a feature article about Matt that was posted just two days ago.
“Hours after his father, Les, died on Wednesday in Oklahoma, Marty Miller kept vigil over his brother Matt at the University of Kansas Medical Center — where he had been since Christmas. On this unfathomably agonizing day for the family, Marty could only hope for peace for Matt as he had entered hospice care for the stage-four prostate cancer that had already metastasized when it was diagnosed 18 months ago.”…Vahe Gregorian, Kansas City Star, January 7, 2022
JM: The Miller family has gone through hell recently, but fortunately they have had the support of friends and family, as well as the K-State family through all of this.
“Matt was engulfed in love from every verse of his life, so much so that staff at KU Med told his forever friend Greg Gurley that Matt was the most-visited person they’d ever had there. K-State football coaching legend Bill Snyder came from Manhattan to see him. So did Mike Clark, his baseball coach at KSU. Friends flew in from around the country.”…Vahe Gregorian, Kansas City Star, January 7, 2022
JM: I almost couldn’t believe it when I heard that Matt was the most-visited person that the staff at KU Med had ever treated. That’s quite a testament to all the lives he has impacted over the years.
“They talked about those wondrous moments he enjoyed in quarterbacking the first 10-win season in Wildcats history (1995). They told stories about Snyder and reminisced about how the baseball team had to be its own grounds crew.”…Vahe Gregorian, Kansas City Star, January 7, 2022
JM: As a student in 1994, I remember a lot of K-State football fans wondering what the future held for K-State football after Chad May graduated. In particular, there were lots of questions about the quarterback position. Matt Miller answered all of those questions by leading the 1995 team to the first 10-win season in the history of the program.
“When you became part of Matt’s circle, you were family,” said (Chris) Bouchard, a former roommate who has spent hours and hours at the hospital these last few weeks. Nearly overcome with emotion, he added, “He is truly a brother and somebody I could count on.”…Vahe Gregorian, Kansas City Star, January 7, 2022
JM: Chris played baseball with Matt at K-State. The sentiment in his quote talking about Matt is the same sentiment that many held towards him.
“All of this was his life, which included coaching Tyreek Hill at Garden City Community College.”…Vahe Gregorian, Kansas City Star, January 7, 2022
JM: This is a tidbit that I found interesting. I do recall that he coached at Garden City, but did not realize he coached Tyreek Hill.
“His legacy also may include donating brain tissue for the study of CTE, from which Matt believes he suffered and perhaps contributed to some personal struggles in his life. He told Marty he believed he had incurred 12 concussions — including on the last play of his K-State career when he was taken from the field on a stretcher in the Holiday Bowl against Colorado State.”…Vahe Gregorian, Kansas City Star, January 7, 2022
JM: I remember Matt getting injured a lot. 12 concussions is a lot.
“It’s eye-opening to all of us: It’s a reminder to give these people their flowers while they’re still alive,” (Kevin) Lockett said. “Don’t wait until it’s the very end. I’m thankful that he’s been coherent up until now and able to actually receive the love that everybody is trying to give him. But that’s not always the case, you know? “So, for me, it’s just been a real big reminder that, hey, man, tell those you love and care about, let them know. Make it no doubt that they understand how you feel about them while nothing is wrong with them, and they have their full health intact.”...Vahe Gregorian, Kansas City Star, January 7, 2022
JM: Very good advice, Mr. Lockett. Although I feel like I am not following this advice, especially in this case, I will try harder in the future.
JM: This is a K-State play that will be etched in my memory forever. Miller to Lockett for the win on the last play of the Cincinnati game.
JM: I found this very nice compilation video of Matt Miller highlights on YouTube. He threw a nice ball. Matt threw for 2,059 yards and 22 touchdowns in 1995 and ran for 309 yards and eight touchdowns. A VERY nice season.
JM: The tributes are flowing in for Matt Miller. And rightfully so.
JM: Please watch this public service announcement from Tim Fitzgerald of GoPowercat. Guys, make sure you go to the doctor and get your yearly checkup and request a PSA test for prostate cancer. Before I heard about the PSA test from Fitz I didn’t even know to ask, but once I did a few years ago, my doctor has been checking it annually ever since. And Fitz is right. If they’re doing bloodwork for other things like blood sugar and cholesterol, it’s easy to add the test for PSA. That’s my own public service announcement.
You can still donate to Matt Miller’s family via the GoFundMe page. They’ve raised almost $50,000 so far. Rest in peace, Matt Miller.