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(INDIAN WELLS, Calif.) – Hall of Fame ‘Coach’ J David Miller joins a distinguished ‘Class of 2021’ who will be recognized by ALA’s Leadership Training Institute for “proven excellence in community leadership and service.” Established in 2009, the event annually recognizes the “doers” in the Coachella Valley community.

The Gala Reception and Silent Auction begins at 5:00 pm; the Awards Dinner at 6:00 p.m. For tickets, click here.

A statement from Angel Light Academy notes that each honoree has consistently demonstrated over time an ability to go ‘above and beyond’ in the desert community. The Gala also serves as a forum to “view the amazing work of our honorees, who represent the very best of the Coachella Valley’s organizations, institutions, and corporations.”

The ALA ‘Above & Beyond’ Class of 2021

In addition to Coach Miller, the ‘Class of 2021’ includes Indio City Councilman Glenn Miller; Cindy Burreson, Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert; Dr. Richard Loftus, Volunteers in Medicine; Dr. Priscilla Porter; Misty Wiley; Connie Golds, Desert Best Friends Closet; Alzheimers Coachella Valley; Arlene Rosenthal, Well in the Desert; Chris Gubler; and Jeffrey Tropple & Ellie Koch, Nothing Bundt Cakes.

Coach Miller credited the success of the Coyote organization to “all of our volunteers, players and professional staff, who are unafraid to pray, unafraid to ask God to use them every single day, and unafraid to dedicate their gifts, talents and lives for a purpose greater than themselves.”

A Mother’s Prayers

His only regret, Coach Miller said, is that his late Italian mother isn’t here to see the maturation of the Coyote organization.

“My mother’s prayers have always followed me,” he added. “They have clung to me all my life.”

Ten years ago, Coach Miller committed to building a ‘hybrid non-profit’ – a sports ministry – that would provide a ‘lifeline of hope’ for every child in the Coachella Valley. According to a recent article in the Desert Sun, his plan was to use the captivating allure and platform of sports and football to ‘educate, equip and inspire youth, as well as nurturing single fathers and father figures, while extolling the virtues of family values.’

Today, more than a half-million youth have participated in Coyote camps, clinics and symposia, and learned from their ‘Above the Line‘ leadership curriculum.

In 2021, the Coyotes were selected as the 28th District Nonprofit of the Year by California State State Senator Melissa Melendez.

‘Our Staff Deserves the Credit’

A three-time ‘Coach of the Year,’ Miller has a career record of 147-25, and is 98-15 with the Coyotes. Among coaches with at least 100 games, Miller’s .848 winning percentage is the highest of any Coachella Valley football coach in history, at any level. He is also chairman of Coachella Sports & Entertainment Stadium Authority (CSESA).

“We’re humbly thankful for this honor,” Miller said. “Our staff deserves all the credit.

“Like Moses, I plan to die leaning on my staff.”


Angel Light Academy’s (ALA) programs help children, ages 5-18, become leaders by giving them foundational skills, resources, and tools to overcome challenges, make positive change in their lives, and build lasting connections.

Children in ALA Youth Leadership Training programs learn character traits, problem solving, and critical communication skills that they can apply to all areas of their lives.

Leadership & Character

Problem Solving & Decision Making Skills

Communication Skills

Hope for Schools & Community


The six-time champion SoCal Coyotes are the 2021 California Non-Profit of the Year, and the national standard of American developmental football. The Coyotes’ organization provides elite athletes a professional environment that refines and showcases their skills through trademarked processes similar to the NBA’s D-league and MLB’s minor-league systems.

Additionally, the Coyotes’ 501c3 and award-winning ‘Above The Line™’ leadership programs impact the social, mental and physical growth of more than 50,000 youth annually through remedial curriculum, training camps, clinics and symposia.

NFL executives have named the SoCal Coyotes organization America’s #1 Developmental Football Program™ for its national, scalable brands, community outreach programs, 10-year operational track record, verifiable data, youth curriculum, sales, public-private sector alliances, and measured results.


On the heels of The SoCal Coyotes success, Coachella Sports and Entertainment Stadium Authority Corp. (CSESA) marks the advent of the Coachella Valley’s first and only centrally-based campus developer for sports, medicine, events, media, sports tourism and retail. CSESA’s unparalleled vision in sports tourism, medical, entertainment, restaurant, hotel and convention offerings will make it the region’s most active live content and event campus developer in Coachella Valley history.

CSESA sports and entertainment partners are dedicated to all aspects of festival, exhibition, broadcast, merchandise and special events. CSESA believes the Coachella Valley’s greatest resource is its human potential, and invests heavily in community development and youth leadership initiatives.

CSESA is the master developer of The Shield at 1 Coyote Way, a 588-acre, multi-use campus that will be a 365-day-a-year destination. The Shield will include indoor and outdoor sports centers for soccer, concerts, football, lacrosse, field hockey; more than 100,000 square feet of retail, food and beverage, and other community space; more than 2,000 housing units; three hotels; 200,000 square feet of commercial office space; and over 100,000 square feet of family entertainment.

-Public Relations Director Gisselle Romo-Gonzalez ( is a graduate of California State University San Bernardino and a frequent contributor to Discover more at


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