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Sunday, January 11, 2009

KU football hires new co-defensive coordinator

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

Miller, who has worked as an assistant at 12 schools in his 31-year coaching career, will assist primary defensive coordinator Clint Bowen.

“Bill is a highly respected defensive coach in college football,” Kansas coach Mark Mangino said. “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 nationally 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 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,” Miller said. “ ... 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 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 the he was a co-defensive coordinator with 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.

Comments

Roy Scherff 10 years, 11 months ago

Welcome aboard Bill! As you know, you are joining a great football staff and a bunch of players with lots of talent to develope.

KU1979 10 years, 11 months ago

Sounds like a great addition. Good luck, Bill!

KU 10 years, 11 months ago

I hope Bill is a great recruiter. With stops at Miami and Florida in the past decade, I sure hope he has some great contacts in the Sunshine State. Imagine if we could open up a recruiting pipeline to Florida like we have to Texas!

Dirk Medema 10 years, 11 months ago

I wondered if we would do something to improve the DC slot on staff. Sounds like a way of recognizing the improvement that Bowen made thru the year, while still letting him know that the status quo is not good enough.Stinks that we lost Tovar. It almost sounds like we let him go, so maybe he wasn't coaching nearly as well as he played, but he seemed like a quality person to have on the staff.

Alan Halvorsen 10 years, 11 months ago

I agree about Tovar dagger.....he was one I was hoping would be in crimson and blue for many years to come.

Dyrk Dugan 10 years, 11 months ago

Position coaches come and go....but it sounds like Mr. Miller brings plenty of experience and recruiting contacts....so it looks like a great addition.Welcome Mr. Miller!

osagefire209 10 years, 11 months ago

Only one question why has he been to so many schools? Has he left on his own terms? Hopefully he does the jayhawks good and sticks around for awhile. ROCK CHALK KU

iowajayhawkfan 10 years, 11 months ago

This hire has to be a good one for the jayhawks. It has to be better than what the Minnesota Gophers did......Barry Cosgrove as co-defensive coordinator. What was Brewster thinking??? Suppose if we scheduled the Gophers during the year we could put 76 on the board? ROCK CHALK!!!!

IBRONNIEB 10 years, 11 months ago

I hope he can coach up the young kids we'll have at linebacker next year. We lose alot of talent.

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