Miller takes on different media roles in Ashtabula County

Dave Miller broadcasts a Lake Erie College men's basketball game vs. Malone in early January at Lake Erie in Painesville.

Whether it's broadcasting or teaching, Dave Miller has spent his professional career around young people.

The Massillon Washington graduate broadcasts high school basketball games on the radio for ESPN 970 WFUN, football and basketball for Lake Erie College and teaches at Lakeside High School.

Miller, a University of Akron graduate, started working at radio stations in the Akron-Canton area.

"I was at a student-run station," he said. "WZIP is about as well run a college station as you can have. I reported on music and sports."

Miller had the opportunity to broadcast LeBron James' last three years at Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary. In the first year, games were held at SVSM, but the following two were switched to the JAR at the University of Akron.

"I remember the games at SVSM," Miller said. "We were trying to wrap up and people were bombarding us with questions about this stats. We had to bring extra people along."

Miller said it was fun watching from a distance the impact James had then.

"I kind of realized that Akron is a big city with a small-town feel," he said.

Miller moved to Ashtabula County in 2005 after meeting his wife, Julie, at a wedding. He started working at the Media One Group and broadcasting games for WFUN in the late 2000s.

"Joe Pete had been doing games, but he was running for office, so I stepped in and did games for two years," Miller said. "Joe came back, but wasn't real healthy so I was still filling in on games."

Pete died on Jan. 26, 2012.

Miller has worked with numerous people over the years.

"I stepped into a great team," he said.

Dale Milano, of Ashtabula, was a spotter for WFUN.

"A very nice guy who enjoys his work," Milano said of Miller. "Always well prepared to broadcast games and very dedicated to his job. Brad Ellis and I had good times doing the high school games together."

In 2011, Miller took on the responsibility of broadcasting Lake Erie football and basketball.

"Craig Dees, who at the time was working with the Lake County Captains, was doing football stuff," Miller said. "One week turned into two weeks into four weeks."

The college game provide a different view for Miller, who broadcasts play-by-play through Internet TV.

"The pace of the college game is a little faster and the officials don't call as much in the college game," Miller said. "I've been able to travel to Michigan, western Ohio and the Columbus area."

Miller said the best part is watching the local athletes play.

""I love to see our high school athletes succeed," Miller said. It's great to see a kid like [Edgewood graduate] Marcus Ernst play for Malone. I can say I watched him get to this point."

With two broadcats gig in the fold, Miller added something else before the 2018-19 school year.

He was hired as an interactive media teacher at Lakeside. Among his teaching duties are photography and web design.

"Two summers ago, Andrea Tredent was leaving and asked if I would be interested," Miller said. "I still had my sights set on a major broadcasting dream."

Miller threw his hat into the ring and the rest is history.

"I've grown to absolutely love this job," he said. "I love the students. They're excited about it."

Miller can find unique ways to teach.

"We started livestreaming Lakeside events," he said. "I want to find that student [who can broadcast]. We make it professional ... no star gazing, put the cell phone away. I've been able to bring what I learned in the business."

And in the business, Miller has had the chance to talk with former and/or current Indians, Cavs and Browns broadcasters over the years.

"[Former Cavs radio announcer] Joe Tait used to come to Ashtabula County to call a game," Miller said. "I was home visiting my parents and my dad and I went to a car show and Joe Tait was there.

"Joe said 'what are you doing here?'. My dad said that's my son talking to Joe Tait. This is what he does. He was so proud."

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