Recent Graduate Jack Miller Changed the SRHS Football Program, One Throw at a Time


Riley Jean Hallroan, Contributor

As he stepped out onto the field under the bright stadium lights at Miller Field, he took a deep breath. After playing football for only 2 years, 10-year-old Jack Miller was now quarterback for the first time. His dream position. Fast forward to his sophomore year at SRHS, he was starting on Varsity.

Miller didn’t play sports at San Rafael High School with the hope of getting his name plastered in the gymnasium beneath other icons like Jerry Goff and Natu Tuatagaloa. He did it to create change within the programs he was a part of and become the best athlete he could be.

Growing up, Jack was always involved in sports. Whether it be baseball, football, basketball, or even swimming, he was always on the move. However, football always held a special place in his heart. “Jack begged me every night when I was putting him to bed in 4th grade to play football. I let him play starting in 5th grade,” said Kalen Donaldson, Jack’s mother.

Miller’s grandfather played football at the University of Louisville and his uncle played at Fresno State. Jack mentioned, “Football has always been on the TV or in our conversations.”

“At one point I made the decision that I wanted [football] to be my focus, but I don’t think a lot went into it, I always just kind of knew,” Miller said. Even though football was his primary focus, he continued to play varsity basketball and baseball at SRHS.

Balancing his social life in high school and football was never an issue for Miller. “He does a good job at balancing everything, I mean it takes up a lot of his time but that’s his passion so it’s understandable,” says Mackenzie Hallroan, Miller’s girlfriend (and my sister).

In 2016, the SRHS varsity football team was entering its 6th straight losing season. When asked about the difference in the SRHS football program from when he first arrived at the school compared to when he graduated, Jack said that the program was almost unrecognizable. During Miller’s sophomore year, there were roughly 30 players within the entire program. By his junior year, just varsity alone had 30. Without a doubt, Miller made a huge impact on the SRHS football program. “He lived and breathed SR Football while he was here. Having a QB that can make plays and make throws gives you the ability to find some success that you did not have previously,” said SRHS Athletic Director Jose de La Rosa. Miller was QB for most of the season his senior year until he suffered a broken wrist. He missed nearly half of the season.

Miller never doubted that his skills could lead him to play in college, but it wasn’t until his team broke their MCAL losing streak in 2018 against Novato High School that he knew it was possible. After four years of blood, sweat, and tears shed on Miller field, Jack committed to City College of San Francisco to continue playing football.

Jack is both a business administration major and a college athlete at CCSF. Balancing his social life and football in college promises to be a lot more difficult than it was in high school. Miller said, “You don’t have to give up much in high school except for a few hours after school, but you really start to see the sacrifice once you get into college.” When he’s not on the field or in the classroom, he spends most of his time with his roommates. Miller and his teammates practice five days a week, arriving at one and typically leaving around 6:30 pm. His team is now 9-0 and headed to the playoffs.

In order to be eligible for the Player of the Year award at SRHS, you need to receive a nomination from a coach and receive enough votes to qualify. “Jack was a contender from the beginning since he was a three-sport student-athlete in football, basketball, and baseball. Contributing to SR in all three sports,” said SRHS Athletic Director de La Rosa.

At the end of the day, Jack Miller didn’t care about his name in the gym. He cares most about the impact he made on the SRHS football program. “It does not need to be said, but Jack was also a great person. He cared deeply about SR sports and still comes out to help our Football program when he can,” said de La Rosa. Miller came back to SRHS to watch and help out on the sidelines at the Bell game against San Rafael’s rivals, the Terra Linda Trojans. After 19 years without the Bell, SRHS won. “They did a great job and I want it to be about them. They did it and I’m proud of them,” Jack said after the game.