Miller steps down as boys basketball coach, Knutson named as successor

Fernley coach Derek Miller shouts instructions during the Northern 3A championship game against Elko last February. Photo by Michael Michaelsen for the Fernley Reporter

Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter

After 12 years at the helm of the Fernley High School boys basketball program, Derek Miller has stepped down as head coach.

Miller informed his team following their loss to Boulder City in the State Tournament in February that he was retiring as a coach.

Miller spent 12 seasons as head coach of the Vaqueros, although there was no season in the 2020-21 school year because of Covid-19 shutdowns.


Miller led the Vaqueros to the State Tournament twice, in 2017 and 2022 and to the playoffs eight times overall, including the last seven years in a row. He finishes his career at Fernley with an overall record of 141-146, and 82-80 in league play.

He came to Fernley after several Silver Stage, and coached in Montana for several years before that.

Miller hopes to coach youth basketball, and also plans to be able to follow his son, Drew’s career as he begins playing Division I baseball at Louisiana-Monroe. Another son Grant, graduated from Fernley this spring, and a third son just finished seventh grade.

Coming off a state tournament appearance and several promising young players in the program ready to make an impact at the varsity level, Miller said he is leaving the program in good shape.

“The program is in a real good spot,” he said. “I like where it’s at.”

 Miller also said he feels comfortable leaving the program to Knutson, who played under Miller and graduated in 2012, then played at Southern Oregon University and was a graduate assistant coach at Nevada before joining Miller’s staff as an assistant

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