Despite having an offer at one of the prestigious high schools in Pennsylvania, West York football coach Ron Miller said the thought of leaving the West York community was too much to overcome.

On Monday, Miller turned down the head coaching job and a teaching position at Cumberland Valley, choosing to remain with the Bulldogs, where his heart belongs.

"This community is part of our family," said Miller, who came to West York to teach social studies and coach football in 2006. "They embraced not only me, my wife Jen, our daughter Aspen. I love the community. It's a special, special place."

Of course, his family is a part of the West York football culture. Most games his wife and daughter are there, as are Miller's parents, who drive two hours to nearly every Bulldogs game.

But, this was Cumberland Valley -- a Class AAAA school that has made 25 appearances in the District 3 tournament, including winning 16 district championships. In August, recently retired Eagles coach Tim Rimpfel became the 11th football coach in state history to win 300 games.

"It wasn't easy. (There was) a lot of sleepless nights and stressful times in Miller household, but I am so fortunate to have a great support system that I have at home. They were a major apart of the decision," he said.

"I am very comfortable of what I decided. I am proud to be at West York and I am proud to be a Bulldog. I am proud to say I can end my career as Bulldog."

Miller said that the administrations at both schools made the decision even tougher. But the support received from West York superintendent Dr. Emily Lonardi, principal Janet May and athletic director Roger Czerwinski -- along with the community of Bulldogs fans -- told him to stay.

Now Miller faces the task of replacing 24 seniors from the 2012 squad that lost to Bishop McDevitt in the Class AAA district title game. Still, he brings a lofty career record of 72-17 to show for his time at West York.

"No doubt, it is going to be a great challenge. My players know that too," he said. "We have a lot of work to do, no question. Come Thursday .... the guys who were worried if I was leaving are going to find out I am still here."

@stevenavaroli; 771-2060


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