For the Love of Cowgirl Basketball
by Roy C. Miller
Through hard work and passion, the 2007 Cowgirl basketball team lived the dream.
They had finished second in the Mountain West Conference, earning an invitation to the WNIT. For the magical three-week tournament run, the Cowgirls played six straight home games in front of record-breaking crowds. In the championship game, 15,462 fans cheered them on to victory over Big Ten power Wisconsin. The Cowgirls ended the season with a record of 27-9, the best in school history.
Roy Miller was there. He’d just moved to Wyoming from California. He came over from Cheyenne for the triple-overtime semifinal against Kansas State and promptly fell in love with Wyoming sports, especially the women’s teams. He came to the thrilling championship game—and then to every Cowgirl basketball game both at home and on the road for the next five years.
Since then, he’s had to taper off a bit. He attends home women’s and men’s basketball, volleyball, soccer, and football games and some wrestling matches.
Roy supports Wyoming Athletics not only with his time, he has written a check to the Cowboy Joe Club almost every month since January of 2008. He also established the Roy C. Miller Women’s Athletic Excellence Fund, which fosters excellence and provides financial support for women’s athletic programs. In addition, he provided matching funds when the Nordic Ski Team need help to make it to the World University Games. He also established a private ROTC Scholarship. He has even remembered Wyoming Athletics in another very thoughtful and impactful way—in his estate plans.
Roy grew up in Vallejo, California. He played football in high school and again in junior college on a rambler team. As he explains it, members of rambler teams were not quite varsity or were varsity but didn’t get much playing time. Ramblers were a traveling team, and at that time they were manned mostly by ex-GIs. “I’d go out there and get my head beat in,” Roy says. “It was fun. I had fun doing that.”
“Senior year, we were undefeated,” he adds with grin.
Between high school and college, Roy served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. After junior college, he spent 33 years in the Army and then worked at the California Army National Guard. After retirement, he became a Volunteer in Public Schools in Lakewood High School. He videotaped football games, which lead to him scouting for the team.
He got off work early one day to go to the playoff games for the high school football team. He decided to attend the previous game, the winner of which would play his team. He took good notes, and then the next day, he asked the coach, “You got a minute? I’ve got some things I’d like to go over with you.” The team went on to score a win.
“I got my foot in the door,” Roy says. “From then on, if I wanted to go to a game at a different school, I could go on the team bus. I had team bus privileges.” He got to know all the coaches and then the players’ parents. They even invited him over for supper. “That made it worthwhile,” he says. “I’ve made a lot of good friends along the way.”
Roy is an ideal fan, and it’s dedication like Roy’s that wins games and takes championships. Go Pokes!