Head Men’s Basketball Coach
Keenan McMiller has been named the head men’s basketball coach at Merritt College after the retirement of legendary coach Maurice Compton. “ I feel honored to have been mentored by and to have worked under coach Maurice Compton. Coach Compton has done a tremendous amount for me as young professional and I am grateful for all that I have learned from him. I am excited to get to work and continue the success of the Merritt College Thunderbird program. I also want to thank Merritt College President Dr. Norma Ambriz- Galaviz, Vice President of Student Services, Dr. Arnulfo Cedillo, Athletic Directors Inga Marciulionis and Fred Brown for this opportunity.” Coach McMiller has had winning seasons at all levels and most recently with the Thunderbirds participating in the State Final Four and State Playoffs the last two seasons.
In six years as the associate head coach at Merritt College McMiller has helped move on 27 student-athletes to scholarships at the four-year level, five winning seasons, three state playoff births and one state final four championship. McMiller has a career winning record of 100-76 as the associate head coach at Merritt College.
Born and raised in Oakland, California, McMiller attended Merritt College in 2000-2002 where he played on the Thunderbird Men’s Basketball Team that reached the California State Elite 8 playoffs. McMiller then transferred in 2002 and played at San Francisco State University. In 2003, McMiller graduated from San Francisco State with a Bachelors Degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Sport Psychology. In addition to coaching, McMiller has been an educator in the Alameda and Oakland Unified School districts for the past twelve years. McMiller completed his Masters of Arts in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Coaching from Southern Arkansas University in 2014.
Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach Maurice Compton
Former Head Men’s Basketball Coach
Maurice Compton, Merritt College Athletic Director, was inducted into the California Community College Track and Field Hall of Fame on August 7, 2012. Coach Compton has worked at Merritt College since 1970 and coached track from 1970-1999. He has been Merritt’s Athletic Director since 2004.
Coach Compton graduated from Castlemont High School in Oakland, California in 1962 with a full scholarship to San Jose State where he played football and ran track from 1962-1966. He ran the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay under Bud Winters and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education in 1966. Coach Compton went on to get his Master of Arts in Education from United States International University.
Coach Compton began working at Merritt College in 1970 as the head men’s basketball coach and assistant men and women’s track and field coach. His first men’s track team won the state title in 1970. He became head coach of track and field in 1973 and continued in that capacity until 1999. Since then, Coach Compton has continued working with the track program as an advisor/mentor while also coaching men’s basketball.
Over the years Coach Compton worked with and mentored several outstanding track and field coaches that began their careers at Merritt College including Ray Norton, Doug Owyang, Curtis Taylor and current Merritt head coach, Brock Drazen. He also worked with many, many successful young women and men student-athletes over the years including state champions Warren Edmonson (100yds) Jeff Laynes (100m/200m), Eugene Swift (110HH/400IH), Ricky Carrigan (100m/200m) Chris Taylor (400m), Trinity Davis (100m and 200m twice), Charles Brooks (Long Jump twice), three 4x100m championship relay teams and one 4x100m relay team.
During his 42 years, Coach Compton’s coaching philosophy has remained constant. While he has always focused on sport specific skills, he adds special emphasis on a student-athlete’s mental attitude. Attributes like motivation, drive, desire and determination among many are what often separates successful student-athletes from the not as successful. He has always been sure to make the same connection about life outside of sport. The character traits of a great athlete are the same that make up a great student and a great citizen in society. He has known all along that athletics are simply the hook with which a person can become educated. He is, therefore, most proud of the successes and satisfaction his student-athletes have achieved in the ‘real world’ after graduating college.