East Jefferson to un-retire Mike Miley’s football jersey number Friday night

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Mike Miley
Mike Miley, pictured wearing No. 5 while at LSU

Mike Miley was a tremendous athlete, a brilliant football and baseball player at East Jefferson High School.

East Jefferson honored Miley posthumously by retiring his No. 11 which he wore in football.

At the request of the Miley family, East Jefferson will officially un-retire the No. 11 this Friday night when the Warriors face Grace King at 7 p.m. at Joe Yenni Stadium.

Mrs. Pat Artieta, sister of Miley, will be on hand with her family for the ceremony.

Many guests of honor will be on hand, including long-time Jefferson Parish school board member Martin Marino, former East Jefferson football player and long-time school principal James Kytle, now a candidate for the Jefferson Parish school board, current Jefferson Parish councilman Deano Bonano and current Jefferson Parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng. District 6 school board member Diane Schnell will also attend.

A reception precedes the game at 6 p.m.

At halftime, current East Jefferson principal Benjamin Moscona will present the Miley family with a framed Mike Miley jersey.

Moscona will then present the No. 11 jersey to the player who best exemplifies sportsmanship, athletic ability and has true Warrior spirit.

As a youngster, I saw Miley play and was “wowed” by his playing ability on the football field playing for the Warriors.

At East Jefferson, Miley started for three seasons, completing 79-of-143 passes for 1,452 yards and 17 touchdowns while rushing for 671 yards and 11 touchdowns as a senior in 1970.

Miley led the Warriors to a sterling record of 18-2-1, leading East Jefferson to a pair of district championships and was named All-State in his junior and senior seasons. He led the Warriors to a district title in 1970 and to the Class 4A quarterfinals. East Jefferson defeated Holy Cross 28-18 in the regional round before losing 31-14 to Bogalusa in the quarterfinals.

The versatile Miley also starred in track and field, recording an outstanding high jump of 6 feet, 4 inches for the Warriors.

At LSU, Miley played two seasons (1972-73) at quarterback for the Tigers and was the starter on the 1973 team which went to the Orange Bowl.

As a baseball player, Miley was even better, starring at East Jefferson for Joe Brockhoff, batting .413 and earning All-State honors twice for the Warriors, who won the 4A state championship in Miley’s senior season of 1971.

Miley was a first-round draft choice (24th overall) by the Cincinnati Reds in 1971 but he opted not to sign and to attend LSU to play baseball and football. He starred in baseball for LSU in his junior season, earning All-SEC honors at shortstop in 1974.

The California Angels selected Miley in the first round, 10th overall, in 1974’s MLB Draft after his junior season. He signed, skipping his senior year at LSU. Miley rose to the Major Leagues quickly. In 1975 and 1976, he played in 74 games for the Angels, setting the stage for a very bright future.

Unfortunately, Miley died in a one-vehicle accident in Baton Rouge on January 6, 1977 at the tender age of 23.

Miley was honored with induction into the Allstate Sugar Bowl Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame posthumously in 2000. He was also memorialized in grand fashion when Airline Playground in Metairie was re-named Mike Miley Playground.

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