RPS loses one of its best friends

ROCKFORD – Dan Miller, the dynamo that helped build the Rockford Elementary Basketball Association (REBA) into a citywide movement, died on June 19 at the age of 64.

The sudden death shocked everyone who knew Dan and his untiring work ethic. Dan spent thousands of hours volunteering at Bloom Elementary, entered the Literacy Council’s 100 Men Who Cook contest for more than 20 years and umpired hundreds of youth baseball games each summer.

It was in the winter where Dan’s influence was really felt. REBA has been around for 26 years and Dan was involved from the start. The league now annually has more than 900 kids playing in it each year. Dan drew up the schedule, coordinated with the schools, stepped in to coach and referee when there was a need and recruited new coaches and new referees to help kids learn the game.

Because of his efforts, basketball has become the pre-eminent sport in Rockford Public Schools. The boys basketball programs of Auburn, East, Guilford and Jefferson have combined to win 50 percent or more of their conference games every year since the 2009-2010 season. This past year, the Auburn girls basketball team won the NIC-10, the first time an RPS school has won the girls title since 1990-1991.

Because of coronavirus restrictions, a memorial service will be held at a future date.

The Rockford Register Star has more on Miller’s influence.

2017: Closer Look: Dan Miller is the man who makes REBA run

2020: Dan Miller, tireless youth sports advocate, dead at 64

Posted on 06.28.20