My old college alma mater, Oregon Institute of Technology, triumphed yet again in the Division II NAIA Men's Basketball championship. Congratulations to Coach Danny Miles and all the Hustlin' Owls! (Read about the game here.) The Owls exploded in the second half to overwhelm the Northwood University (Florida) Seahawks, 63-46. With this win, the Owls tie Bethel, Indiana for most Division II national championships at three. All 3 titles came under the leadership of Coach Miles. The other two were in 2004 and 2008.
My place of employ (being a high-tech company) has many OIT alumni (engineering students) on the payroll so there is a lot of strutting and woofing going on today at work.
OIT's success is a point of pride for me not only because I'm an OIT alumnus, but because Danny Miles is a lifelong friend of the Cariaga clan. My dad and Danny came to OIT at about the same time, back in the late 60s. They spent a lot of time together over the years. When Dad passed in 2001, Danny organized a get-together with some of Dad's football players, my brothers and I, and some of the OIT coaches. We hung out in the press booth up above dark and empty Moehl Stadium, had a drink or two, and told stories about Dad. I've always been grateful to Danny for that.
So, congratulations to OIT Hustlin' Owls everywhere on this big victory. And special congratulations to Coach Danny Miles: a dear friend to my family, and one hell of a basketball coach.
From the Oregon Tech Athletics web site:
Danny MilesDanny Miles will begin his 41st campaign at Oregon Tech when the 2011-12 Hustlin’ Owls take to the hardwoods in November. Miles has led Oregon Tech to two NAIA II National Championships, in both 2004 and 2008, while leading Oregon Tech to a NAIA national tournament "Sweet 16" appearance in 2011, finishing with a 30-5 overall mark, including a perfect 19-0 home record - The Owls’ third undefeated season in a row. Miles home win streak now stands at a school-record 57 straight. In the last 15 seasons, Miles has led his squads to an overall 424-110 (.794) record with 13 trips to the NAIA Division II National Tournament. Oregon Tech’s tournament record stands at 28-11, including 13-straight wins in first round games. Oregon Tech holds the record for most wins at the division II tournament. In his tenure at Oregon Tech Miles has guided 16 men’s basketball teams to the national tournament.
On April 21, 2005 Miles was honored by his alma mater Southern Oregon University as the recipient of the 2005 Distinguished Alumnus Award at a dinner held in his honor on the SOU campus. In March of 2001 Miles was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in Point Lookout, Missouri. He was then awarded the Favell Museums Klamath County Western Heritage Award later that spring. In 1996 Miles was inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame. He also has attained similar recognition as a charter member in both the Southern Oregon University and the city of Medford Halls of Fame for his outstanding athletic fortunes.