KU football hires new co-defensive coordinator

Sunday, January 11, 2009

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.