Miller continues to inspire students

Photo above and cover photo provided by NDSU Athletics

FARGO, N.D. – Jason Miller ’00 came to Minot State University with a spirit for growth. 

“I’m a lifelong learner and try to challenge myself daily to improve and be the best I can be,” he said. “At MSU my goals were to get my degree and develop as an athlete. Today, I work to be the best leader I can be for my program and help our athletes reach their full potential.” 

Miller is in his 17th year at North Dakota State’s strength and conditioning department and his 10th as the director of athletic performance for Olympic sports. He came to Minot State from Brandon, Manitoba and, with support from several professors and coaches, took full advantage of the resources the campus had to offer. 

“Gary Leslie ’61, David Rochholz, and Terry (Ferebee) Eckmann ’81/’82 were professors of mine that helped me get where I am today,” said Miller. “They were available and offered guidance and support as I decided to pursue college strength and conditioning as a career.”  

Eckmann, professor of teacher education and kinesiology, recalled what it was like to have Miller as a student. 

“I have great admiration for Jason Miller,” she said. “During undergraduate work at Minot State, he was a recognized athlete, an excellent student, and an influential leader. He initiated a strength and conditioning program for student-athletes and his career journey from that point on has been an inspiration to many.” 

Miller elaborated further on what his homegrown program meant to him and his later graduate studies at Northern Michigan University, where he earned a master’s in exercise science. 

“This was a huge part of my development as a coach and gave me the experience I needed to earn a graduate assistantship and start my career at Northern Michigan,” he said. “MSU helped prepare me for where I am today. The size of the campus allowed me to get to know a lot of fellow students and get involved with student government as a senior. The opportunity to play a sport in college definitely helped with team building and leadership skills.” 

Now at NDSU, Miller has worked hard to create a training program for athletes and coaches early in their careers. 

“I oversee all sports at NDSU other than football,” he said. “I work directly with men’s basketball, baseball, and volleyball. I manage and develop our staff and provide direction on our overall approach to training and coaching our athletes. 

“As a college athlete and young coach, I didn’t have access to a structured strength program. I had to learn by doing — and failing. Over the years, I have put a lot of time into developing a system to train young coaches on the best practices regarding program design, communication, and leadership.”

About Minot State University
Minot State University is a public university dedicated to excellence in education, scholarship, and community engagement achieved through rigorous academic experiences, active learning environments, commitment to public service, and a vibrant campus life.

Published: 09/23/22   

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