Ceremony scheduled Oct. 28 during Homecoming football game
The Zephyrhills High School softball field will don the name of one the greatest coaches in Zephyrhills history – Craig Milburn.
The Pasco County School Board approved the request of ZHS to dedicate the field in Milburn’s honor Friday Oct. 28 prior to the kickoff of the Bulldogs’ Homecoming football game against Cypress Creek. The ceremony will take place at midfield of the football stadium to accommodate Milburn’s long list of student-athletes and their grateful families.
Milburn spent nearly 35 years at ZHS as a teacher, coach and athletic director.
When Milburn retired, he was the basketball and baseball team’s all-time winningest coach. As basketball coach, he compiled a 136-171 record in 11 seasons. He also was the baseball coach at Zephyrhills from 1979-1995, putting together a 263-192 record, including four district and four conference titles as well as making five playoff appearances.
He served as the school’s athletic director for 28 years. In addition, he took his passion for the diamond to the girls’ softball team where he coached that program for a decade. He also served as the girls’ weightlifting coach.
“I think Craig’s an important part of the history of Zephyrhills High School,” ZHS Athletic Director Bruce Cimorelli said. “He was here for 34 years and was part of the community. He deserves it.”
Cimorelli said when ZHS first opened; Milburn was the key to establishing and maintaining the athletic fields. He worked tirelessly on the athletic fields ensuring they were pristine and safe for the Bulldog athletes.
“He worked hard,” Cimorelli said. “His fingerprints are on everything out there.
Cimorelli said that the impact Milburn had on the students, the school and the community is immeasurable, but it will be visible in the stadium for the ceremony.
“We will definitely see what he meant to the kids and this community on the 28th,” Cimorelli said. “There will be a lot of people showing up to support the man that meant so much to their lives.”
After Milburn retired from ZHS, he moved to Northern Kentucky to be with his daughter McKensi Madden and her family. He soon discovered an opening at nearby Ryle High School to coach softball. He applied and got it.
He became one of Northern Kentucky’s most decorated coaches. Milburn had a record of 124-88, including two 33rd District championships and one Ninth Region title in 2018.
He retired again last year. Milburn’s family and rest of the Raiders program honored him last year for his five decades of service. Ryle players wore ribbons in their hair with his name on them.