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Dr. Jim Miller Receives 1999 Ransom Arthur Award

"A man for all seasons"

Sally Dillon | May 23, 2001

In the tradition of the award’s namesake, Dr. Jim Miller was selected as the Captain Ransom J. Arthur, M.D. Award recipient because of his commitment to and involvement in swimming and the health and fitness of swimmers. With experience as a physician, coach, and leader, Jim served at all levels of Masters swimming. Prior to receiving the award, Jim was Vice President of USMS, Medical Coordinator for numerous USMS National Championships, Chair of the USMS Sports Medicine Committee, Chair of the USMS Coaches Committee, Vice President of the Masters Aquatic Coaches Association, Chair of the Virginia LMSC, President of Virginia Masters Swim Team, and the 1986 USMS Coach of the Year. He also served on USMS’s Championship and Long Distance Committees.

In addition, Jim was involved in swimming beyond Masters, which benefited USMS’s ties in the swimming community. He was a coach and stroke and turn official for many years. He also served as a physician at the Olympic Trials for swimming 1996.

Jim’s medical practice has been tied to the encouragement of adult swimming and fitness. He is a family practitioner with a subspecialty in sports medicine. He was the medical director for the health club at which his Masters team swam and team physician for a local high school’s sports teams. Jim also published on swimming and adult athletes. The combination of Jim’s long-term commitment and service to USMS and his medical contributions to swimming and fitness led to the decision to present him with the 1999 Ransom Arthur Award.

JIM MILLER – SECOND BIO (presumably included in national magazine article)

The Ransom Arthur Award is USMS’s most prestigious award. It is presented annually to the person deemed to have done the most to further the objectives of Masters swimming. This year’s award recipient is Dr. James Miller.

Jim’s background in medicine, swimming, and coaching has given him many talents and much expertise, which he has consistently shared with the Virginia LMSC, the USMS National Organization, USA Swimming as well as the U.S. Olympic Committee.

He first began coaching Masters in 1981 in Richmond, Va. His first team had 10 swimmers and three workouts a week. That program now has 200 swimmers with 12 weekly workouts. The longevity and vitality of this local program is credited to Jim’s tireless efforts. This is just one example of the many contributions he has made to Virginia swimming.

On the national level, Jim has served as Vice President, Medical coordinator for National Championships, and Vice President of MACA. He has served in many capacities on National Committees: Sports Medicine, Championship, Coaches, Long Distance, and One Event Registration. There are many swimmers grateful for his on deck coaching at nationals, especially the ones without a coach!

Jim served as an on-deck coach at the first Masters Training Camp at the Olympic Training Center. He established and implemented testing protocols for USMS swimmers. His credentials go on and on. The bottom line is USMS is fortunate to claim Jim Miller as its own.

retyped by Sally Dillon from various accumulated sources - 7/7/10

More about Jim Miller:

Truly a man for all seasons, "Dr. Jim" has made his mark on all aspects of Masters swimming: national and international competitor, certified FINA official, vice-president of USMS, Medical Coordinator for Championships since 1984, Committee Chairman, recipient of the first Coach of the Year Award in 1986, to say nothing of his multiple contributions to United States Swimming on the National and International levels.

An accomplished athlete—track, tennis, and soccer—Jim's early swimming career was limited to summer leagues. His coaching career began in 1969 while an undergraduate at the University of Virginia, continued through medical school—even during his residency he continued coaching swimmers at local and national levels. He entered the Masters world as a coach in 1981, re-entered the competitive world in 1982 at the insistence of his Masters team, and has competed in every National Championship since 1983 Long Course in Indiana.

From that time, Jim's involvement with USMS has been "a very rewarding process of growth," representing USMS in many national and international forums. He served as USMS vice-president 1993-97, is currently Chairman of the Sports Medicine Committee, past Chairman of Coaches and One-Event Registration committees, and has been a member of Championship and Long Distance, where he authored the Guide for Cable Swims.

Jim is actively involved in Virginia, having served as chairman of the LMSC as well as president of Virginia Masters. He coaches morning and evening workouts five days a week. At local and national meets, he and his lovely wife, Nancy, are found in the center of activities of Virginia Masters, in their deep purple bathing suits and warm-ups. Nancy herself is a top ten competitor, currently serving as Virginia Masters President, and is Chairman of the USMS Planning Committee. A highlight of Virginia's 1997 Coach and Mentor Clinic (the largest of its type in USMS history, with 20 coaches and 80 swimmers) was the stupendous catered party at "Club Miller."

Lisa Bennett, national champion and All-American breaststroker, speaks for many of Jim's swimmers: "I always swim my best when Jim is there. His knowledge of coaching techniques, so precise and technical, allows me to dissect my own swimming. His motivational skills make me believe I can really accomplish something."

His multi-sided exposure with USMS propelled Jim into the world of United States Swimming—as one of eight USS traveling physicians for the quadrennium ending in Sydney in the year 2000, he went to the World Championships in Perth, Australia. Jim was team physician for the 1996 Olympic Trials: the 1997 Medical Director to Women's NCAA Division I swimming and diving championships. He also served as physician to the 1997 World University Teams and for the U.S. Olympic Committee to the 1998 Goodwill Games. Additionally, Jim set up testing protocols and the pre-participation survey for Masters swimming at the International Center for Aquatics Research in Colorado Springs.

Only a person of Jim Miller's seemingly unlimited talents could fit all this into one lifetime, never mind a 24-hour day. In his own words, "While I can think of many personal highs—single performances, placements at international games and Masters nationals, anchoring a specific relay and all of its aspects, the Masters message of pure, uncomplicated love for this sport—fitness, camaraderie, competition and personal growth—would be the high points for me. This helps me in interacting the USS national-level athletes. The excitement that fills me for our sport is conveyed to that athlete, and works to also enhance their swimming experience. This is not to say that I would mind hitting that 24.0 in a relay at Short Course Nationals again, but times will come and go. The Masters experience as coach, athlete, and leader are very exciting and fulfilling to me."

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