Legendary Rip Miller is dead at age of 90

October 02, 1991

E.E. "Rip" Miller, the last surviving member of the University of Notre Dame's famed Seven Mules and Four Horsemen of the 1924 championship team, died early yesterday at Ginger Cove in Annapolis, where he had lived for the past five years. He was 90.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at the Naval Academy Chapel.

Miller, a native of Canton, Ohio, was a leader in Naval Academy athletics for nearly five decades, as an assistant football coach, head football coach and then assistant director of athletics for 26 years. He retired from the Naval Academy Athletic Association in 1974.

He was the first of the Seven Mules to be elected to the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame, that coming in 1966.

Miller was a tackle on the Seven Mules who teamed with the Four Horsemen under coach Knute Rockne to earn Notre Dame a 27-2-1 record during his three years of varsity play.

A favorite banquet speaker, Miller would often relate how that team had a vote on "who was more important, the Four Horsemen or the Seven Mules. Naturally, we always won, 7-4."

Miller was graduated in 1925 with a bachelor of arts degree in foreign commerce and was awarded the Byron Kanaley Award given annually to the top student-athlete at Notre Dame.

Soon after graduation, he became an assistant football coach under the late "Navy Bill" Ingram at Indiana University after having been recommended for the position by Rockne.

After the 1925 season, Ingram and Miller both moved to the Naval Academy, Ingram as head coach and Miller as an assistant. In that first season, they guided the Midshipmen to the mythical national championship.

Miller succeeded Ingram as head coach in 1931. He directed the Midshipmen for three seasons, producing a record of 12-15-2, but he had the distinction of being the first Navy coach to beat Notre Dame.

In 1948, Miller became assistant director of athletics with specific responsibility for athletic recruiting.

He was an honorary member of the Naval Academy Class of 1966 and the Naval Academy Alumni Association. In 1966, the Naval Academy Foundation's Preparatory School Program established an honor scholarship in his name.

Miller is survived by his wife, the former Esther (Es) Templin of Elkhart, Ind.; three children, a son, Thomas of Cockeysville; two daughters, Mrs. Pat Seaney of Ithaca, N.Y., and Mrs. Joan Dove of Annapolis; eight grandchildren, and one greatgrandchild.

The family suggests memorial contributions to the American Parkinson's Disease Association, 3800 Reservoir Road N.W., Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, D.C. 20007.

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