Gary Millen Stadium

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Article from the Conway (NH) Daily Sun, by Lloyd Jones, September 23, 2008

CONWAY – It was an evening filled with plenty of emotions as the Gary Millen Stadium was officially dedicated Friday before an estimated crowd of nearly 2,000 on the campus of Kennett High School in Redstone.  The Millen Stadium is named after the late Kennett High social studies teacher and head coach Gary Millen, who died unexpectedly on May 5, 2006 at the age of 53.  Millen went 186-86 in football as head coat at Kennett.  He took the Eagles to the post-season 19 times, winning six state championships and appearing in a total of 11 title games.

The dedication of the stadium was a festive evening with countless community members and students turning out in their finest black and white.   Gary MacDonald, president of the Millen Foundation, served as the master of ceremonies for the 30 minute pre-game dedication.  “It’s perfect weather, an incredible crowd, and two undefeated football teams that you can feel the energy in the air."  “It’s Friday Night Football at its very best,” he said.

“Tonight we officially open a stadium that we could only dream about two years ago”, MacDonald said.  “Gary Millen was a trusted friend to many of us.  He consistently demonstrated the attributes we hope to see continue in future Kennett student-athletes.  With this stadium, Gary Millen will forever be part of Kennett teams to come.”  

N.H. Governor, John Lynch, who was a high school classmate of Millen, rounded out the group of speakers that evening.  “Gary was a much better athlete that I ever was, John said, recalling Millen had been captain of their high school football, basketball and baseball teams.  Gary led by example and he pushed all of us to be our very best.  Gary Millen was truly a great man; it’s fitting that this wonderful stadium is named after him.  He was a man, who made a difference in the lives of so many."  

"For over 30 years, Gary Millen was a dedicated teacher and coach to the students at Kennett High School", Lynch continued.  "Gary was remembered for his tough but fair attitude that his students knew in the classroom and on the field.  Gary’s life was marked with many talents, but I will remember him for his unquestionable character and devotion to his students.  He consistently demanded the best for his students and athletes, which is now evident in their success.  Gary has influenced many lives, and his memory will continue to impact the players, coaches and fans that step into this stadium.”



Gary and I stayed friends after high school, and right up to the time he passed away. He was a regular visitor to the state house while I was Governor, and hosted high school students from around the state. He was absolutely devoted to his students.  You probably know this, that his hero/mentor in high school was Bill Rodan, with whom I stayed in touch with throughout my tenure as Governor.  He wanted to emulate Bill Rodan, i.e. teach history and coach football. Which is what he did.  He was absolutely beloved by his students.  

And I miss Gary to this day.