Mike Miley – Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame
East Jefferson High School/LSU/MLB
A four-sport letterman (football, basketball, track and baseball) at East Jefferson High School, Mike Miley is recognized as one of the best all-around athletes in New Orleans high school history.
The starting quarterback for three years at East Jeff, Miley completed 79-of-143 passes for 1,452 yards and 17 touchdowns while rushing for 671 yards and another 11 touchdowns as a senior in 1970. He tallied 2,123 yards of offense on 203 plays. Over his final two years, he led the Warriors to a 18-2-1 record with two district championships and earned two All-State berths.
A true superstar in football, he was likely even better in baseball as he batted .413 and earned all-state honors twice as a shortstop. He led the Warriors to the Louisiana Class 4A baseball championship. He also tallied a high jump of 6 feet, 4 inches to contribute to the school’s track and field title.
“Mike was the best athlete that I ever coached,” said Joe Brockhoff, who was Miley’s East Jefferson High baseball coach and is also a member of the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame. “And he was always just a good person to be around. Always easy to deal with, never too full of himself.”
Despite being the top draft pick of the Cincinnati Reds in 1971 (first round, No. 24 overall), Miley opted to attend LSU and play baseball and football.
“I came very close to signing,” Miley later told New Orleans States-Item sports editor Pete Finney. “Their (the Reds) last offer (with a $65,000 bonus) was very attractive. Why didn’t I sign? Well, I felt I’d always regret it if I didn’t give football a whirl. I’ve been second-guessed as a quarterback and I didn’t want to be second-guessed at this. So, I made the decision, the biggest of my life.”
While at LSU he continued to excel and was the starting quarterback in 1973, leading the Tigers to the Orange Bowl. He also garnered all-SEC honors as a shortstop for the baseball team.
In 1974, the California Angels drafted Miley with the No. 10 overall pick. He opened his professional career by hitting .288 with the Double-A El Paso Diablos in 1974. In 1975, he opened the season with the Triple-A Salt Lake City Gulls and was called up to the Major Leagues, seeing action in 70 big league games. He split time between the Gulls and the Angels again in 1976 seeing action in 14 Major League games.
On January 6, 1977, Miley died in a tragic car accident at the age of 22. Jefferson Parish named a West Metairie playground in his honor.
Miley was born on March 30, 1953. He was also inducted into the New Orleans High School Sports Hall of Fame.