Photo courtesy DU Athletics
Inside Lacrosse reported yesterday that star senior midfielder Zach Miller is not practicing with the Denver Pioneers lacrosse team and isn’t currently enrolled at DU.
“Zach has decided to take some time away from school,” DU head coach Bill Tierney told IL. “We are obviously disappointed in his decision, but respect his right to make it and hope that everything works out for him.”
Miller was set to be one of the centerpieces of a team that is poised to make a run at a second national title in three years. Just last year he tallied 50 points (27G, 23A) and was named a preseason first-team All-American by Face-Off Yearbook this year.
Going to school and living far away from his daughter likely played a significant role in his decision to leave Denver. When one is forced to make a decision between playing the sport you love and your family, the answer is and always should be family.
“Obviously, being closer to his daughter, Annamae, will make him happier, as the rigors of school and missing her eventually took their toll,” Tierney explained to IL. “I feel comfortable in knowing that we provided Zach with the financial, coaching, mentoring and academic support necessary for him to succeed in college and am thankful for having had him on our team for three years.”
As difficult as it is to say goodbye to Miller, the program is still in a very good place. The Pios have incredible depth this year. Miller’s departure will give players like Austin French, Nate Marano, Colton Jackson, and Connor Donahue the opportunity to step up and fill the scoring and leadership void left by their star.
Tierney will also be able to rely on the most talented freshman class in DU’s history, featuring burgeoning star attackman Ethan Walker, to win games this year. The Pioneers are in a very good place right now and Miller’s departure doesn’t change that. They are and should remain among the favorites to win it all in 2017.
The contributions that Miller made to this program are numerous and the entire DU community should be extremely grateful to him for sharing his gift with the Lacrosse Capital of the West. I know we here at LetsGoDU certainly are.