In the annals of area high school athletics a reoccurring school is Flaget high school, which produced more than its share of legendary Louisville athletes through the years.
Flaget disbanded in 1974, but in 1945 it was just working on building up its athletic programs, and as such the first full time coach was hired, Paulie Miller was a multi-talented coach who was hired to take charge of the school’s basketball, baseball, and football teams.
Despite having a key understanding of all three of the sports, Miller quickly proved that he had tremendous expertise in the relatively new sport at the time, football. And, state wide the sport was just gaining traction in 1949 when the first state championship was played in a game won by Miller’s Flaget.
Following that ’49 championship, the Flaget Braves remained powerhouses in the world of area high school sports largely due to Miller. The school continued winning state championships; in football in 1952, 1958, and 1961. Not to be outdone a state championship in basketball came in 1960.
Miller officially announced his retirement in 1963, leaving a program which he in large part built, and handing the reigns off to Norm Mackin who won a state championship of his own in 1967.
During his tenure Miller coached a plethora of future all-stars and established a high level of competition in high school football, especially in area Catholic schools. Much of the accomplishments of current national powerhouses St. Xavier and Trinity really go back to Miller’s work within Louisville Catholic athletics. Because of that, he was inducted in the first class of the Louisville Catholic Sports hall of Fame this year.
Today the legacy of both Miller and Flaget high school is remembered in the Flaget Museum, which officially opened in 2002. The school building was converted into apartment housing in 1982, and still operates as such.
Image courtesy of Flaget Museum