Hoops coach Lee finds landing spot at Miller Career
Former Chaminade coach Kelvin Lee has a word with Andy Kleinlein (21) during a game at Metro Catholic Conference rival De Smet last season. Lee is the new coach at Miller Career Academy. (Robert Cohen, Post-Dispatch)
16 hours ago • By David Kvidahl | STLhighschoolsports.com
Kelvin Lee has landed on his feet.
Lee has been hired to be the boys basketball coach at Miller Career Academy. He had spent the previous 16 years at Chaminade.
“I did a lot of research on it and I did a lot of praying on it, and I think it would be a great opportunity to have an impact,” Lee said.
Lee, 53, was dismissed from Chaminade at the end of April. During his tenure he was 282-169, won the 2009 Class 5 state title and routinely competed for the rugged Metro Catholic Conference championship. The Red Devils won six of the last seven league titles. He also coached two NBA players in David Lee and Bradley Beal.
Transitioning to the Public High League will be a challenge for Lee. The student bodies at Chaminade and Miller Career are vastly different.
“Athletics tend to bring people together. I’ve learned over the years that basketball is basketball,” Lee said. “Basketball gives kids a way out. I don’t care if it’s at Chaminade or at Miller Career Academy, it’s an opportunity for kids.”
Lee said he will have a job in the building, but the finer points of that arrangement have yet to be ironed out.
“We still have to discuss the particulars,” he said. “I’m going to be in the building, which is what I requested. I wanted to be with the kids.”
After he was let go from Chaminade, Lee has actively looked for another position, preferably one in town. He has children in St. Louis and preferred to not be away from them.
“I was on the phone with some people out of state and at different levels,” he said. “I was on the phone with my friend with the Milwaukee Bucks. I was thinking about doing some work for the Bucks.”
He was still searching when PHL athletics director Martin Jenkins called to see if Lee had any interest in the open positions in the league. Soldan, Sumner and Miller Career all needed coaches. Lee said Miller Career was the one he felt was a fit for him.
Jenkins is on vacation this week and unavailable for comment.
“I’ve been down there before, I scouted there,” Lee said. “When I walked in the school I was very impressed.”
As Lee began the process of applying for the position, he took some time to watch Miller Career play in St. Louis University High’s summer basketball league. He walked away feeling good about his first season at the helm of the Phoenix.
“I had an opportunity to sit in the stands and watch them and evaluate,” he said. “I was impressed with their talent level and how the kids handled themselves on the court.”
Miller Career went 22-7 and won a district championship last season under Dale Turner. The Phoenix were beaten by Normandy in sectionals.
Lee is looking forward to returning to the bench and seeing what he can do at Miller Career. It’s a challenge he said he’s ready to tackle.“It’s a new beginning for me,” he said. “I’m really excited about it.”--The story can be accessed here.