Originally published January 10, 2009 at 03:56p.m., updated January 11, 2009 at 12:00a.m.

Louisville assistant named KU co-defensive coordinator


Bill Miller, former defensive coordinator at Louisville University, has been named linebackers coach and co-defensive coordinator of the Kansas University football team, the school announced Saturday.

Miller, who has worked as an assistant at 12 schools in his 30-year coaching career, will assist primary KU defensive coordinator Clint Bowen.

“Bill is a highly respected defensive coach in college football,” said Kansas coach Mark Mangino. “His experience, attention to detail and reputation for coaching an aggressive style of play, makes him a great fit for our program. We are excited to have Bill on our staff.”

Miller's first order of duty will be helping the Kansas defense bounce back from a rough 2008 season. After finishing 12th in total defense in 2007, the Jayhawks fell to 89th this year, thanks largely to a pass defense that ranked 114th (out of 119) in the nation.

Last season, Miller served as the linebackers coach for a Louisville team that improved significantly from the year before. This offseason, he accepted a job as the team's defensive coordinator before resigning to take the Kansas job.

At Western Michigan in 2007, Miller's defense proved one of the Mid-American Conference's best, leading the league in pass efficiency defense, ranking second in sacks and fourth in total defense, pass defense and tackles for loss. In addition to Louisville, Miller has served as a defensive coordinator at Nevada, Oklahoma State, Miami, Michigan State, Arizona State and Western Michigan and was an associate head coach and linebackers coach at Florida .

Miller, who graduated from Hutchinson (Kan.) High in 1974 and later played safety at Hutchinson Junior College, cited returning to his home state as a major factor in his decision to accept the position at Kansas.

“This is also a great opportunity for me to get back to Kansas be close to my dad who lives in Hutchinson, and my brother, who is in Kansas City,” said Miller. “ ... Obviously I am very excited about coming home and being part of the Kansas program. Mark has done a great job with this program and I am looking forward to being a part of it and helping them as much as I can. I am really looking forward to working with Clint Bowen and (offensive coordinator) Ed Warinner and the other guys that I know on that staff.”

Miller's job responsibilities at Kansas are expected to be similar to those held by Bowen in 2007, when he was a co-defensive coordinator to Bill Young before being promoted following Young's departure for Miami.

Meanwhile, Steve Tovar, who served as the Jayhawks linebackers coach for two seasons, will be leaving the program to "pursue other opportunities," the university announced Saturday

The vacancy left by Joe Bob Clements, who served as Kansas' defensive line coach for one season before leaving to take a job at Kansas State last month, has not yet been filled.

Bill Miller File

Coaching Experience

1978 Texas-Arlington Graduate Assistant

1979-80 Oklahoma State Graduate Assistant

1981-82 Drake Secondary

1983-85 Nevada Defensive Coordinator

1986-88 Minnesota Defensive Backs

1989-94 Oklahoma State Defensive Coordinator

1995-98 Miami Defensive Coordinator

1999-2002 Michigan State Defensive Coordinator

2003-04 Florida Associate Head Coach/Linebackers

2005-06 Arizona State Defensive Coordinator

2007 Western Michigan Defensive Coordinator

2008 Louisville Linebackers

2009- Kansas Defensive Line

Bowl Games (Season)

1986 Liberty (Minnesota)

1996 Carquest (Miami)

1998 Micron PC (Miami)

1999 Citrus (Michigan State)

2001 Silicon Valley (Michigan State)

2003 Outback (Florida)

2004 Peach (Florida)

2005 Insight (Arizona State)

2006 Insight (Arizona State)

2007 International (Western Michigan)

FCS Playoffs

1983 Semifinals (Nevada)

1985 Semifinals (Nevada)

Playing Experience

1974-75 Hutchinson (Kan.) Junior College

1976-77 Texas-Arlington


1974 Hutchinson (Kan.) High School

1978 Texas-Arlington


Born Hutchinson, Kan.

Wife Lisa

Children Cole and Jackson


OCJHAWK 11 years, 4 months ago

Looks like a good get for us. It might just be a coincidence that Tovar couldn't land any of his recruiting targets to go along with a subpar linebacking year for seniors with so much proven experiance.

JJHAWK 11 years, 4 months ago

Sounds like Mangino is all over his staff's performance.We keep Bowen's recruiting We pick up additional defensive savy.Sounds like a win win to me.

FlaHawk 11 years, 4 months ago

Looks like a good move. Tovar and this years LB core were very disappoing. Miller has to be better and Bowen needs help in game time situations!Good job Coach Mangino!GO HAWKS!

HawkDigestCom 11 years, 4 months ago

Hmm ... I was thinking we needed a d-line coach

troutsee 11 years, 4 months ago

Looks like a good pick-up. Sorry to see Tovar go. He had a lot of linebacker experience.

number1jayhawker 11 years, 4 months ago

This is a HUGE positive move by HCMM and KU FB. He is one hell of a good coach and he can recruit with the best of them.Now we need to hire a DL coach.

rasta_meta 11 years, 4 months ago

I am very pleased that Mangino hired a co-defensive coordinator. I guess it wasn't only a talent problem afterall....

JBurtin 11 years, 4 months ago

Recruiting more D Line talent is more like it.Our D line has been fine when we've had guys like James McClinton and Charlton Keith to make things happen, we just didn't have those guys this year. Still, with Joe Bob gone we will need to fill that position.It's also pretty shady to rip on Tovar. Mortensen and Rivera were injured all year long, and it was their last chance to play in college. If it's going to take the better part of their senior years to get healthy enough to play, then I have no problem with putting them on the field a little dinged up. It doesn't always have to be about the W. I respect a man that will put the guys that deserve to play on the field.I'm also a big supporter of Clint Bowen. McClinton was our only decent pass rusher in '07. Asking the freshmen that were trying to fill the shoes of Talib to cover for that long was just an unfair situation to measure a coach by. Add the injured linebackers into the equation and I'd have to say that Bowen did an excellent job under trying circumstances. He made some mid season switches that worked out great. Thornton did a great job after his switch to corner, and he found us a player in Patterson that did a pretty solid job as well.Dont' get me wrong, I'm happy with the new hire as another good coach on the defense is certainly not a bad thing. I just think that his title as co-coordinator is less about Bowen's performance, and more about the fact that Miller deserves a title of at least that caliber.

rasta_meta 11 years, 4 months ago

Here is some better information on Bill Miller:He served as the associate head coach at Florida in 2004 and was the Gators' linebackers coach in 2003 and 2004. Prior to his stint in Gainesville, Miller was defensive coordinator for Nick Saban at Michigan State (1999-02) and for Butch Davis at Miami (1995-98).This guy has a lot of experience and has been around some top coaches and top programs. Very glad to have him aboard.

rasta_meta 11 years, 4 months ago

JBurtin...I completely disagree with you because the last position Bill Miller had he was only a linebackers coach for Louisville, he was not a defensive coordinator. So, it is not beneath him to not be a defensive coordinator.From Rivals:ResumeYearsTitleLocation2008-PresentLinebacker CoachLouisville2007Defensive CoordinatorWestern Michigan2005-2006Defensive Coordinator & Linebacker CoachArizona State2004Associate Head Coach & Linebacker CoachFlorida2003Linebacker CoachFlorida1999-2002Defensive CoordinatorMichigan State1995-1998Defensive CoordinatorMiami1989-1994Defensive CoordinatorOklahoma State1986-1988Defensive CoordinatorMinnesota

Joseph Kuebel 11 years, 4 months ago

Burton, this had more to do with the recruiting or lack there of on the part of Tovar. Not only did our linebackers hold us up from 05-07 but this years LB's were a big reason the defense was ripped to shreds on several occasions this season. I am looking forward to this addition and the possibility of upping the ante to keep things moving in a positive direction especially needed for this teams defense. This years linebacking crew was supposed to be the pride of the Jayhawk Defense after losing Talib and having no true pass rushers on our D-Line. Our Linebackers were the only thing we had to depend on as our strong point on defense and they frankly didn't hold a candle to the wind in comparison the LB corps of Nick Reid's(+Kane and Floodman) during their Senior senior seasons. Quite obviously this was the only part of the jayhawk team that didn't lose players, and still moved a step backwards in relation to the rest of the team (while each other aspect of our D had an excuse to move backwards and did -beyond the departure of Young). Tovar being booted is a terrific move for Kansas, and the pickup of Miller has a lot to do with his experience all over the country. Miller has connections- look the resume and his hookups from the SEC, Big Ten, and BIG XII. This is a good move right here. Quality addition.

rasta_meta 11 years, 4 months ago

CaliHawk33...I was just about to say the same thing about your post. :)

rasta_meta 11 years, 4 months ago

This is how Mangino operates. He will never berate his coaches publicly. He will bring in new coaches and release a statement that they are going to pursue other possibilities. This isn't the first time this has happened. He know you cannot berate them publicly because it will destroy the program as players will lose respect for the coaches and other coaches won't want to come coach here.

rasta_meta 11 years, 4 months ago

Also, he never berates talent either. He will say they are young or inexperienced or bang-up, etc. He knows what he is doing when he talks to the press. Trust me, what is being said behind closed doors is much different.

rasta_meta 11 years, 4 months ago

Since the reporting on this site is lacking any good research, I will update you with some of the facts:Ron English was the defensive coordinator at Louisville last year and Bill Miller was the linebackers coach, he was not defensive coordinator. Ron English left after the season to become head coach at Eastern Michigan and then Bill Miller was named defensive coordinator/linebackers coach for upcoming season.

Lance Hobson 11 years, 4 months ago

Great move, bringing in some experience. Coach Mangino knows how important it will be to get our act together defensively next season.

rolo2383 11 years, 4 months ago

I agree with JBurtin regarding the linebackers. The linebackers, at least Mortensen and Rivera, were banged up all year. Look how well they played in the bowl game after they had time to heal. It also doesn't hurt that Minnesota ran the ball more than most teams in the Big 12 which was Rivera and Mortensen's strength. You can compare these linebackers to Reid, Floodman and Kane but I don't think you can say either group was better than the other. Both groups were very solid. If you want to compare these two groups from a different angle look at the defensive linemen that were playing in front of the linebackers.

Hawkish4bigM 11 years, 4 months ago

Just another example of what a great coach we have. Doesn't bash his coaches, doesn't make excuses, doesn't make mid-year coaching firings, uses understatement almost always. KU should be thankful and proud to have a coach like ours. I can guarantee you that if we get into the NC game inside the 10 we will score. We will be better prepared and we will call better plays. It is time that all the usual talent that goes to OU starts looking elsewhere. Youngstown (home of Mangino) should be proud. Are we recruiting there? My biggest concern is M's health. He is so dedicated to the program and his team that he is short-changing himself, his family, and could short-change the program that he loves if he does not tend to his health.Coach Mangino, you're the best. May you live forever, but please work on your health this year. Work out with your players. Build muscle mass. The blood coursing through your veins will make you even sharper. Your physical workout could be a great example of your work ethic. You are the best coach in KU history. We do not want to lose you.

mdfraz 11 years, 4 months ago

To add my two cents worth about the LB's this year, they are a pretty good group of run stoppers. We saw that last year against teams like aTm and Colorado for instance. Problem is, we faced some of the top QB's and passing attacks this year, and as much as I loved watching JoeMo and Rivera, they were just too slow to work against 5 wide. Holt held his own for the most part against the pass. Throw in the fact that Joe and Mike were dinged all year, and that makes average speed even slower. I will never ever question their effort, heart, desire, dedication, and their contribution on the whole, but we shouldn't have been relying on them as much against the spread offenses we faced this season. Very excited about a very experienced coach. I don't care who is the titular "defensive coordinator", and I hope/expect that neither Miller or Bowen will either. I'd still love to see us get back with Earnest Norman, despite his dumping us a while back. We could use a great athlete at that position for the future.

JBurtin 11 years, 4 months ago

Apparently Cali and Rasta don't understand the concept of an injury.Also, I didn't say linebackers coach was beneath Miller, I simply stated that he is deserving of at least a co-coordinator's position based on his resume.P.S. mdfraz, excellent use of the word titular, it made me giggle like a thirteen year old boy.

Alan Halvorsen 11 years, 4 months ago

There is no reason that Steve Tovar should be bashed on here. I'm not the coach but in terms of play on the field in the last two years I would say that Steve should be the last coach to hit the road.Sure our linebackers dissapointed this year, but they were still the strength of our team. Our D-Line had NO pass rush, and the secondary got lit up. Joe Bob is gone, why is Tovar gone and not coach Jackson. Not saying that coach JJ should go but Tovar was good.It's amazing how everyone was praising ST last year and all the sudden when he gets "fired" everyone thinks he sucked! The only thing I didn't like about him was that he played for THEE ohio state. You shouldn't fire him cause of that. lol

railer1122 11 years, 4 months ago

Tovar was a very good coach. Joe Bob can go and get killed by us for years to come at K-State because he couldn't get anyone to get a good pass rush. Best move of the year was BOWEN moving James Holt down to DE during 3rd down attempts because Bowen realized we couldn't get one with our normal D-Line.I like this move, Miller seems very qualified at smaller schools. Imagine what he can do at a rising program like KU?We should be BIG XII North champs next year. We have more experienced coaches on D and our O will be one of the best in the conference, if not the nation.

mdfraz 11 years, 4 months ago

railer, what exactly do you mean by "smaller schools"? Miami? Okie St? Ariz. St? Minnesota? Florida? Which of these is a "small" school? JBurtin, I'm glad I could entertain you. Titular is definitely an under used word.I think it's hard to criticize any of the defensive coaches this year, b/c with the offenses we faced, we didn't have the pure talent to really stop them, and very few other teams stopped them either. Our pass rush was weak, and it killed us. However, not having been at practices and seeing what we had waiting in the wings, it would appear we just didn't have a good pass rush DE. Hence, we have gotten commitments from 5 of them for the coming year, and we are still in the hunt (I think) for a 4 star JUCO DE. Point is, the best coaches in the world can't make a guy faster or a better pass rusher (at least not during the season, maybe offseason workouts can help some). You can't NOT have JoeMo, Rivera and Holt out there (I'll miss Holt the most I think), even if they aren't fast enough to effectively cover the spread offenses. Our secondary was pretty young, but with some personnel changes and experience, we got better as the season progressed. I absolutely love Stuckey back there, and with some stronger corners next year hopefully, I think the secondary could be MUCH improved. We are addressing weaknesses, which is what good teams/coaches do. We made some pretty major changes mid-season both in the running game and the secondary. Good coaches adapt. I don't see anything but the game time performances, so I can't say if there were better guys on the sideline who didn't get to play. For what we had, I think we improved and the coaches did their job in that respect. And regardless of how Tovar was doing, it can't hurt to have a guy as experienced and successful as Miller on the sideline for us.

troutsee 11 years, 4 months ago

Can you believe all this excitement for KU FB!!!! I think it is great. FB is the best team sport there is. Man it'd be great to be a power in two sports.....entirely possible. Keep up the great work MM. Believe me, recruits can feel enthusiasm and committment to excellence.

beebe1 11 years, 4 months ago

Glad to see rasta_meta commenting. I have confidence he knows the business. My complaint was philosophy -- I'd like to see that D is 'allocating' all the offensive eligible receivers! It seemed to me some times that NO ONE was paying attention to the offensive Plan to use them. Too many defenders defending 'territory' without any eligible receivers and none headed their way. And the best defensive plan I saw was Washington vs Dallas when the best defender matched T Owen every play! He got one reception. This sounds like a good move! Sorry about Tovar. He was a player -- maybe playing doesn't automatically make you a good coach. And maybe we weren't recruiting Ohio hard enough.Next point to solve -- special teams coach. At Iowa State they had a special teams coach that knew where the ball was going on the on-sides kick and had 5 guys there to recover. They did. Our team didn't know about that. If we can get a standout on special teams, our worries should be over!

Alan Halvorsen 11 years, 4 months ago

This guy is like Bill Young on steroids!He has a different job everyday!

Alan Halvorsen 11 years, 4 months ago

Since '95, seven different jobs. Consistency is key.

mdfraz 11 years, 4 months ago

Jimmy, I think the one thing we have going for us in keeping Miller around for a while is that he grew up in Hutch and has family all around the state. He's been coaching for 30 years, so he's probably in his early to mid 50s, and a lot of times it seems that that's a pretty good time to come home for a while, especially when you have coached all around the country. I agree consistency is key, but I think/hope this guy may be here a while.

rasta_meta 11 years, 4 months ago

I agree that our D-line was terrible in getting pass rush in base situations, but a good coordinator schemes around that with stunts and blitzes to confuse the offensive line and to give the D-line a better chance to succeed. This did not happen very much this much this year and when we did stunt, they were pretty basic stunts that people run in high school which a good college offensive lineman should not be confused by.I agree that we aren't as talented as some other teams, but if you really break down the film you can see that we should have been much better on defensive then we were. BTW, Bill Miller was a defensive coordinator under Nick Saben at Michigan St. and under Butch Davis at Miami. He also was on Jimmy Johnson's staff at Oklahoma St. right before he left for Miami. He has coached under the best in the college game for the past 25 years. This is a huge pick up for us, bigger than any recruit we sign this year. Also, I have been told that he is good recruiter...really likeable and sincere.

rasta_meta 11 years, 4 months ago

Also, this is by far Manginos best recruiting class (if everyone keeps their commitments). I saw that Kevin Young just switched back to Kansas from Nebraska which is means we have some really good DE in this class, which should make many people on this list happy. However, I imagine that most of them are not good enough to come in and play right away without some quality coaching. So, it will be up to our coaches to make them into the players they are capable of being. With the players we have returning, this signing class and the hiring of Miller I am more excited for next season than I was for this season.

OCJHAWK 11 years, 4 months ago

I assumed Miller was under good coaches, but didn't research. Thanks for the info and I agree with your general comments. I am so glad that KU didn't fall back to being a pushover after the Orange Bowl. MM is really loading this program up for year to year success.

actorman 11 years, 4 months ago

I have never looked forward to the next football season as much as I am right now. We should DEFINITELY be the favorites to win the north next year.

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