Todd Miller is a Buffalo tennis legend.
The 59-year-old East Amherst resident is well-known throughout the tennis world for his accomplishments. Miller is one of only 49 people worldwide to have earned the career lifetime designation of International Master Professional from the Professional Tennis Registry. The PTR is the world’s largest global tennis organization with more than 16,000 coaches in 125 countries.
The International Master Professional designation is reserved for the world’s elite talent, developers and those who have made the most outstanding contributions to the world of tennis over their careers, and those who have exhibited the highest degrees of ethics and character.
Others who have earned the designation are legends such as Americans Billie Jean King, Arthur Ashe, Nick Saviano and Dr. Jim Loehr, and international icons Richard Schonborn (Germany), Leo Alonso (Argentina), Edvard Raastad (Norway), Donato Campagnoli (Italy) and Dennis Vander Meer (South Africa).
Miller recently received what he considers his ultimate career achievement when his fellow International Master Professionals unanimously elected him the organization's chairman.
“Being selected chairman of this incredible group is truly an honor and privilege,” Miller said. “I have utmost respect for each and every one of these individuals. I must admit that at times it is a bit intimidating to even be in their company. Over time I have gotten to know everyone quite well and greatly value their opinions. To me, they possess some of the greatest minds the game of tennis has ever known. However, I still consider them great friends. My goal is to do my very best and make a world of difference and ultimately leave a positive mark.”
Miller was elected to a three-year term along with co-vice chairmen Jack Thompson, from Charlotte, N.C., and Darren Lewis, a native of Melbourne, Australia.
As chairman, Miller will head the executive and selection committees, which involves year-round attention. He also will have a major role in the organization's symposium events in addition to running the annual meeting, presenting a speech at the awards banquet and scheduling IMPs for presenter introductions. He will also be in charge of two presentations in which hundreds of people will attend – the IMP roundtable and mentoring sessions.
He will head various committees to study topics that are relevant to the PTR and concerning the International Master Professionals. Miller will also be traveling to numerous international events, as well as to presentations at major tournaments that include Grand Slam events.
Miller's tennis career is filled with accomplishments.
He was the Amherst Hills Tennis Club's executive director and head tennis professional from 1980-2007. In 2007, Miller and his wife purchased Amherst Hills and renamed the facility Miller Tennis Center.
He recently shed 90 pounds to return to his competitive playing weight of the 1970s and '80s. During that time, he established a University at Buffalo record for the highest first singles career win percentage at 86 percent. He was also the former 1985 Buffalo City Open singles champion. During that time, he defeated some of Buffalo’s greatest tennis players, including Kevin Arias, Peter Braun, John Englander, Bill Weiss and Ken White.
After a long competitive hiatus from playing tennis the veteran teaching pro is back on the courts.
"I’m hitting and playing virtually every day and I feel like a kid again," he said.
Miller has earned the titles of USA High Performance Coach, USTA National Coach and PTR International Clinician. He has also been honored as Eastern Coach of the Year and New York State Professional of the Year awards. In addition, he and his family – wife, Debbie, son Tony, and daughter Tina – were honored as the Eastern Tennis Family of the Year in 2005.
On Dec. 7, the former Sweet Home star will be inducted into the Section VI Hall of Fame. Miller has also been inducted into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame, UB Athletic Hall of Fame, Buffalo Tennis Hall of Fame, JCC Athletic Hall of Fame, and the Sweet Home Athletic and Distinguished Alumni Halls of Fame.
Earlier this year, Miller Tennis Center was named the world’s top tennis facility of the year by the Professional Tennis Registry. Past winners included the Mar-A-Lago and Polo Clubs in Florida, as well as clubs located in Germany, Italy and China.
“It has been an enjoyable tennis journey thus far, particularly partnering with my wife Debbie in operating MTC and collaborating on numerous endeavors” Miller said.