Memories of Wade E. Miller Gym: ‘It was the place to been seen’

One of the names most synonymous with the history of Middletown’s Wade E. Miller Gym is Paul Walker.

Walker coached the Middies for 30 seasons, compiling a 562-136 record and five state championships. He’s still regarded as one of the winningest coaches in Ohio history.

MORE: Middies great Jerry Lucas shares memories of Wade E. Miller Gym

Coach Walker died in 1999 when he was 88. His son, Paul Walker Jr., 71, lives in Texas. Walker Jr. said from the time he was 6 until he graduated from Middletown High School in 1964, he lived in the Miller gym, first watching his father lead practice, then as a Middie playing under his father.

“It was home,” he said.

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Games at Wade E. Miller Gym were a “Friday night event” in Middletown, he said. Fans dressed up like it was Easter Sunday.

“It was the place to be and the place to been seen,” Walker Jr. said during a phone interview from his home. “But it was a special time, a different time back then.”

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