Fairbanks Sports Icon Milo Griffin named Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Candidate

FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Fairbanks coaching figure and UAF Basketball legend Milo Griffin has been tabbed a candidate for the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame.

The Hall of Fame is a collection of athletes, coaches and moments that signify what it is to be a sports icon in the Last Frontier.

Griffin is ingrained to the fabric of Fairbanks, from player, to coach, to teacher, to leader.

Griffin's Hall of Fame worthy career began as one of the greatest Nanook basketball players to ever don the blue and gold.

From 1966-69, Griffin set many UAF records that stand to this day, including most points in a game (43), most career field goals (622) and free throws made (438).

He was the schools all-time leading scorer for 36 years and held the record for most points per game at 26 for even longer.

Griffin was a part of UAF's first induction class of the Nanook Hall of Fame in 2008. He was the first player to have their number retired by the Nanooks, the number 44 that hangs in the Patty Center Gym.

Griffin also played for the Alaska Goldpanners for multiple seasons.

Since then, Griffin has remained a staple in the sports community, teaching and coaching at Lathrop for over 30 years.

Today, Griffin is the West Valley girls basketball coach, as well as the track and field coach.

Griffin has coached and taught multiple generations of the Fairbanks youth, and understand there is much more to it than wins and losses.

"Sometimes we lose the value of what our jobs our as coaches are. Are we coaching to win? Or are we coaching to make kids better kids and get them ready for the next level in their life, or the next college job they are going to get?" Griffin said. "Sometimes as coaches, we get so involved in ourselves, the winning, that we lose sight of what their going to be 10 years from now, 15 years from now."

"Seeing kids come back and call you and say 'Coach, I didn't understand back then when I started, but 20 years later, I understand what you went through trying to help me and stand by me as a player.' It is good just to see kids do that, I can't explain it. Seeing the kids of those kids playing for you, that's the craziest part when you get as old as I am."

Originally from Kentucky, Griffin made Fairbanks his home after his collegiate days at UAF. He touched on why he fell in love with the city and made it his place of residence.

"The people in Fairbanks are giving people. They really look out for each other," Griffin stated "They supported me when I was here, they supported me when I played for the Panners. Fairbanks is a great community, it is like a family of people all over Fairbanks. It is a family kind of environment."

This is part of ongoing series where KTVF11 will interview Interior candidates of the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame.