WATCH: Former Brevard Football Coach Pays Tribute to Nick Miner, Outstanding Athlete and Young Man Killed in Accident
By Steve Wilson // February 12, 2023
Nick Miner was tragically killed while helping a friend pull his vehicle from a ditch
WATCH: The Friday Night Locker Room’s Steve Wilson talks with former Brevard County football coach Tony Piccalo about the outstanding athlete and young man Nick Miner, who was tragically killed while helping a friend pull his vehicle from a ditch.
Wednesday, February 1, 2023, was a big day for many high school senior athletes across the country. It was the day they could sign a National Letter of Intent (NLI), to continue their education and play ball at the next level.
However, for one family in Orange County that, three months ago, expected this to be a very exciting day, it was not. In fact, it was a very difficult day.
Derek and Deanna Miner were the proud parents of Nick Miner, a senior at East River High School in Orlando, FL. Nick was on the football team and was coached by former Brevard County coach Tony Piccalo. He was the Falcon’s quarterback and two-way player his senior season. He was that talented.
At 6-foot tall and 215 pounds., Nick was, as Coach Piccalo described, “a hoss!” He could do it all! Nick was a true leader in every sense of the word. The players and students gravitated to him. He was charismatic, good-looking, athletic, and had a heart of gold.
In the early morning hours of October 23, 2022, Nick left us. He was tragically killed while helping a friend pull his vehicle from a ditch.
Nick’s death devasted not only his family but the entire East River community. He was that well-known and that well-loved.
Coach Piccalo described Nick this way:
“Nick was the kind of player you always hope to get in your program as a head coach. The kid absolutely loved the game, he loved competition, and he hated to lose. He was a young man who trained year-round to be very good as an athlete. He loved the weight room, loved summer 7 on 7’s, and loved Friday night lights. I was fortunate to watch him grow from a young 9th-grade kid into a hulking 12th-grade high school version of Tim Tebow. When he was on the field his teammates thrived on his energy and will to win. The power and intensity he played with was unmatched. He loved East River and he set a standard here that will always be remembered.”
No one knew Nick better than his parents. Derek Miner talked about Nick, how he carried himself, and what he did to improve himself.
Derek said this about his son:
“It’s not often a person comes around like Nick Miner. He strived to be great at everything he attempted. He’s always been well-known as a football athlete and played quarterback since he was seven years old. He also loved to play linebacker, one of his favorite things to do was to hit. I think he worked so hard because he didn’t want to disappoint anyone. I can remember after his sophomore season we went to visit colleges and he participated in their camps. He came back and said, “I need to hit the gym. I have a lot of work to do to catch up to what is a college athlete,” and that’s exactly what he did. He never missed his workouts. He went to work out after working out with his team. He trusted his coaches, was loyal to his team, and respected his teammates! He won his first Championship on Falcon field and reached his goal of being QB1 for the Falcons. He was Mr. East River! He will always and forever be QB1 for the East River Falcon!”
Wednesday, February 1, 2023, would have been the day Nick signed his NLI. We will never know where he might have gone to college, what his family life would have been like his work life, etc. But what we do know is that Nick Miner had a “heart of gold” and died as a hero, helping others.