One of the great sports communicators and voices in New Orleans history has been silenced.
Long-time radio and television sports journalist Bruce Miller passed away on Wednesday, March 27 at his home in Harahan. Miller was 81-years old. Miller suffered a heart attack, according to his family. His daughter, Rebecca, was with him.
"It was very quick and very peaceful," Rebecca said. "It was the way he wanted to go. I don't believe he suffered. He was the best dad in the world."
A native of Illinois, Miller, who worked in sports media for 50 years, came to New Orleans in December of 1957 and never left the Crescent City other than serving three months in Lake Charles in 1974.
Bruce worked at WDSU Television (1961-1973), WDSU Radio (1957-1961), WGSO Radio (1974-1980) and at WWL Radio (1980-2000).
Miller served as the play-by-play voice of Tulane University from 1959-1975 and later worked two more years with Green Wave broadcasts. Miller was inducted into the Tulane Athletics Hall of Fame in 2007.
As the voice of Tulane Athletics, Miller he did the play-by-play on the radio broadcasts of all of Tulane's football games. In addition, Miller hosted Tulane's football recap shows on Sunday mornings. His love of Tulane was obvious on all of his broadcasts.
Miller screamed from his press box broadcast booth position at the Orange Bowl, hoping Tulane coach Bennie Ellender would hear him when Miami was incorrectly give a fifth down, which they converted in an eventual Hurricanes 24-21 victory over the Green Wave at Miami on October 14, 1972.
Bruce was passionate, becoming emotional during Tulane's big 14-0 win over LSU on December 1, 1973 before a packed house of 86,598 fans which ended a 25-game losing streak at the hands of the Tigers. He and partner Wayne Mack epitomized their love of the Green Wave in the closing minutes of the game broadcast.
After Tulane decided not to retain Miller after 1975, he would later serve two additional years on Green Wave broadcasts. To many, he is the most popular, iconic voice of the Green Wave in Tulane history.
While at WWL, Miller covered the New Orleans Saints for over two decades, hosting the radio pre-game and halftime radio shows, hosting a show with Offensive Coordinator King Hill, conducting post-game interviews with Jim Mora and filling in twice to do play-by-play and color on the Saints Radio Network. Miller did morning sports at WWL for many years as well.
Miller was inducted into the Tulane Athletics Hall of Fame in 2007 and he was honored with the Joe Gemelli Fleur de Lis award by the Saints Hall of Fame in 2011 for his contributions to the New Orleans Saints organization. Miller served on the media selection committee for the Saints Hall of Fame from its inception in 1988 through 2013. He participated in the recent nominating and selection process in which La'Roi Glover and Pete Finney were chosen to be honored later this year. That was just one month ago.
On a personal note, I started my career in the broadcast industry at the age of 19 in 1977 while I was a sophomore at Loyola University, thanks to Pat Matthews giving me a part-time job. I have not missed a day of work in the industry since, with all of my years served in my hometown of New Orleans.
While Matthews gave me an opportunity at music station WQUE-FM which got me started, it was Miller, along with Matthews and Mack, who gave me a chance to work on the AM side at WGSO, 1280 AM. Miller got me involved in doing high school games with him starting in 1978 while he and Mack started sending me to New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Jazz locker rooms for post-game interviews.
Clearly, those opportunities enabled me to gain experience, build a resume' and foster a career. Clearly that would not have been possible without Miller.
An unassuming man who never courted fortune or fame, Miller simply went about his business on a daily basis, using his God-given talent with his terrific pipes to serve two generations of area fans in many capacities.
Bruce Miller gone? Oh, brother! I will miss my brother, a truly wonderful person and wonderful professional. On this weekend of hope and triumph for those of us of faith, may the Lord truly bless Bruce and his family. Heaven just gained one heck of an announcer!
A memorial gathering for Miller is set for Friday, April 5 from 10 a.m.-noon at Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home at 5100 Pontchartrain Blvd.
Here is the obituary on Miller.
Relatives and friends of the family are invited to attend the Memorial Gathering at LAKE LAWN METAIRIE FUNERAL HOME, 5100 Pontchartrain Blvd. on Friday, April 5, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon.
Friday, April 05
10:00 AM to 12:00 PM Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home
5100 Pontchartrain Blvd.
New Orleans, LA 70124
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