Funeral Services for LWW Coach Miller Set for Wednesday


Longtime chess coach, tournament director and former ICA-board member Steve Craig Miller passed away December 14 two weeks shy of his 60th birthday.

Miller was also a recent president of the Illinois Chess Coaches Association (ICCA).

A memorial will be held Wednesday, December 21 at 3pm at the Kurtz Memorial Chapel, 102 East Francis Road in New Lenox.

Miller was the chess coach at Lincoln Way West high school since the school was constructed, and for many years ran $5 USCF-rated tournaments to give his students enhanced experience beyond scholastic chess.

Chess team captain Nicholas Van Houghton posted on Coach Miller's memorial page, "Mr. Miller was my coach for my first three years of competitive chess and really helped me improve my game and got me to love chess. He always had a smile on his face regardless if our team was winning or losing and always looked for the positive."

"He really enjoyed the game and sought to instill that same love and knowledge within his students. He was a great coach and he will be missed by myself and my past and present teammates."

"My condolences and prayers to the family as he was a very nice man and a great teacher." 

Rockford Guilford Chess Coach Erik Czerwin credits Miller for his own involvement in the ICCA. Czerwin is now the ICCA's webmaster. Says Coach Czerwin of his Lincoln Way West counterpart, "Just a very giving person, freely devoting his time and energy to others in a way that is rare to find."

Miller was featured in the outstanding documentary "Chess State" which honors the history of the IHSA team championships. Coach Miller can be seen in several scenes speaking in front of his amazing chess book collection.

His imaginative chess hand-outs were freely shared on the ICCA site and are regularly used by coaches around the country.

If others in the chess community have memories or thoughts they would like to share, this space remains available.

In later years Miller was active as a cyclist and involved with a south suburban cycling organization, and there are outpourings of condolence from those club members as well.