After 10 years at the helm of Sugar-Salem athletics, Jay Miller has stepped down as athletic director. Tyler Richins has taken over athletic director responsibilities but will continue to coach the football team.
Miller will continue in his responsibilities as vice principal at Sugar-Salem High School and principal at Valley View Alternative School. Additionally, Miller will head an effort to improve Sugar-Salem School District’s online resources.
In Miller’s time as Sugar’s AD, Sugar-Salem School District 322 has won 44 state titles. The Diggers had won 33 titles in the previous 115 previous years.
Miller said the coaches and others whom he’s worked with were key to the district’s success.
“First and foremost, we hired the right people and coaches to lead these young people and help them see what their capabilities were,” Miller said. “Then my job was to simply go to those coaches and say, ‘What do you need? What do you need and how can we support what your vision is,’ and they took off.”
Richins has worked as one of those coaches for the last six years and his teams have won the last three 3A football state championships.
He recently completed his administrator certification opening the door to an administrative promotion.
“It’s just a natural progression for him now that he has his administrative degree to get involved with AD responsibilities this year and possibly other administrative responsibilities following,” Miller said.
“I enjoy being part of athletics,” Richins said. “I enjoy other sports and other programs and activities. I enjoy watching kids be successful and excelling in their sports. I’m just ready for a bit of a change. I’m still going to be teaching (mathematics) in the classroom this year. I’m just trying to get some other experience doing some other things, but still be involved in sports and athletics as much as I can.”
Richins father, Dwight Richins, spent several years as an administrator, including years as an athletic director at Teton, Shelley and Blackfoot High Schools in Southeast Idaho.
“He comes from a long line of athletic leadership anyway,” Miller said. “His father obviously has been involved for a lifetime in athletics and has had success wherever he has gone as a coach and as an athletic director. Tyler has kind of followed in those footsteps in that way.”
Tyler believes seeing his father work as an athletic director has helped him understand the responsibilities he’s taking on.
“I already know what the time commitment and different challenges you might experience as athletic director are,” Richins said. “So my eyes have already been a little bit open to that just because of what I’ve observed with my dad. I think that kind of helped in the decision because I already had a basic background in what to expect.”