Once a Jayhawk, Always a Jayhawk: Meghan Miller
For most bathroom remodels, the process of choosing tiles could be the most difficult task. For Kansas soccer alum Meghan Miller, picking out the tiles for her bathroom in Seattle was easy.
“My dad had this idea of doing a huge Jayhawk room, and I thought, maybe it would be too much for other people – not for me, because I would gladly do that-,” Miller said. “So I figured the bathroom was a good place, it had to be redone anyway, so why not Jayhawk colors?”
The tiles were found by Miller’s mother, a Jayhawk fanatic like her daughter, who had them specially-shipped to Seattle from Lawrence.
But this KU soccer alum has bigger ties to Kansas than it being just her alma mater as her ties are connected to multiple records and achievements in KU soccer history.
Miller is arguably the best goalkeeper in Kansas history as she collected numerous accolades during her four seasons (2001-04). A the three-time all-region and all-conference selection, she was not only a Soccer Buzz First Team All-American in 2003 and NSCAA Second Team All-American in 2004, but was also Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week five times throughout her career.
Upon inspection of the KU soccer record books, Miller’s accomplishments are not all too surprising. She still holds the number one spot on the career records chart for matches played for keepers (88), goals against average (.980), shutouts (28) and wins (60).
Even though it has been nine years since Miller walked Mt. Oread, she still finds ways to bring KU to her, like getting a custom-made license plate that reads ‘RCKCHLK’ and covering her car in Kansas stickers.
“Most people out here don’t get it,” Miller said of her license plate. “But I had one guy who stopped in the middle of the street and asked if I went to KU and I said, ‘Of course, look at my license plate.’ He said, ‘I did too’ and we had a quick conversation about our graduation years.”
Miller is used to the attention from strangers while out and about town, because back in Lawrence as a student-athlete, simply wearing her KU-issued adidas sweatpants and shoes spurred approval.
“Walking down Mass Street, people know you’re an athlete and they’ll give you a little nod and say, ‘Great win!'” said Miller. “KU fans know what’s going on and are very supportive.”
After getting her masters in Student Athletic Leadership at the University of Washington, Miller made her way back to her hometown of Seattle and took a job with the WNBA’s Seattle Storm where she is an assistant content development specialist. As a lover of writing and sports, Miller found a home for herself as she describes her job as writing or reading anything Storm related.
In addition to her job with the Storm, Miller coaches soccer at Ballard High School in Seattle where she is the assistant and goalkeeper coach. She was more than qualified for the position after being a volunteer coach for the Jayhawk soccer team when her fourth year of eligibility at KU was up. As a volunteer coach, an impressive 11-7-2 record as well as a thrilling overtime win against the University of Missouri in the Border Showdown in 2005.Â
As a goalie, Miller found that the transition from player to coach was seamless, because she was constantly directing players to the best positions due to her vast view of the field.
“Being a goalkeeper is exactly like being a coach,” she said. “You have to do the same type of things except you’re on the field.”
Now being almost 2,000 miles away from her alma mater, Miller cherishes the opportunities she has to go back and see her old friends and coaches. Soccer Alumni Weekend has been one way that she has been able to see and reconnect with her old teammates. During Alumni Weekend the alums rekindle memories and eat dinner at El Mezcal, a favorite amongst the women.
“Mostly we just see each other and hang out,” said Miller. “We don’t do anything that crazy because we all just want to be together and catch up.”
Lawrence was also a second home for Miller’s mother who made it to every one of her games her senior year. Like her daughter, she transformed into a die-hard Jayhawk fan.
“I think the end of my career was harder on her than it was on me,” Miller said. “She’s got Jayhawk stuff all over her car and in the house; she’s almost as bad as me.”
Back at home, Miller makes a point of watching or getting updates on all of the current KU soccer games through Jayhawk All-Access or occasionally on the Big 12 Network.
“I keep a close eye on everything, as we all do,” she said. “We all take a lot of pride in what they do and they reflect on us.”
Along with keeping up with the team, she also maintains a watchful eye on the record books because even after nine years one can get used to seeing their name next to number one.
“I always joke with (associate head coach) Kelly Miller that when someone is getting close to breaking my record. I’ll say, ‘Hey! Make sure you don’t play this kid so they can’t break my record!'”
Coming from KU where the students and student-athletes live and breathe a passion for sports, it’s no surprise that Miller still has her eye on the ball.
Once a Jayhawk, Always a Jayhawk.