Meet 'The Mad Hatter': Get to know KU's next head football coach


FILE - LSU head coach Les Miles ponders a reporter's question's following an NCAA college football game against Mississippi in Oxford, Miss., Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015. Mississippi won 38-17. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

FILE - LSU head coach Les Miles ponders a reporter's question's following an NCAA college football game against Mississippi in Oxford, Miss., Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015. Mississippi won 38-17. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

It is no secret that Les Miles is the biggest name Kansas football has hired in the history of the program.

Miles, who was announced as KU’s next head football coach Sunday afternoon, brings an illustrious resume to a program that has experienced little success this past decade. Miles, 65, has 197 wins in his 16 years as a head coach and has netted nine bowl wins.

To put that in comparison, the Jayhawks have been a program for 118 years and have record just six bowl victories.

Still, there are fans that may not know who Miles really is. Here are some notable things you should know about the program’s next coach:

Where has Les been?

Miles was fired from LSU midway through the 2016 season after 11 years in Baton Rouge. He led the Tigers to a 114-34 record during his tenure, which included a win in the 2007 national title game.

Since then, Miles has kept himself busy in other ways.

Miles, who took up acting, had cameo roles in three released films, including a prominent role in Angry Men, which is about the Challenger space shuttle disaster. The movie was released in June of 2018.

"As a child, I wanted to be the president of the United States, wanted to be a head football coach and wanted to be an actor in a movie," Miles told the Advocate. "We only get one go-around at this thing called life. There’s no do-overs."

In addition, Miles was doing a weekly podcast, which was called “Les is More” through the Players Tribune. Miles provided an insider perspective, covering the storylines on the college football landscape.

The story behind his nickname

Miles was known as “The Mad Hatter” during his time at LSU, as he wore a brand-new white cap to each game.

None by Darren Rovell

In addition, former LSU players revealed another nickname for Miles to the Bleacher Report in 2015. Players called him “Lesticles” for his willingness to try fake field goals, fake punts, and go for it on fourth downs.

“It’s Les. They call him Lesticles,” former LSU kicker Colt David told Bleacher Report. “Just to have the balls to call some of those plays, it keeps teams on their toes.”

This type of stuff often made LSU a national topic, something Kansas has experience very little of in the history of its program. In fact, the New York Times called him as much a “mascot of LSU football as Mike the Tiger.”

Miles eats grass

Miles has more quirks than most former KU coaches, if not football coaches in general.

One of his quirks that received a lot of attention during his time at LSU was when Miles was caught eating grass during a matchup with Alabama in 2010. With eight minutes left in the fourth quarter, the camera caught Miles in the act of chewing blades of grass from the field.

"I have a little tradition that humbles me as a man, that lets me know I'm part of the field and part of the game," Miles explained afterward via "I can tell you one thing: The grass in Tiger Stadium tastes best."

Famous press conference rants

After LSU’s 2012 win over Ole Miss, Miles went on a rant in his postgame press conference. In the rant, which featured some profanity, Miles compared watching Odell Beckham Jr. score a touchdown to being a bowler at the bowling alley. He also told women to give his players a kiss.

Miles also stated the difference between Columbus Day and St. Patrick’s Day during a press conference.

Miles also admitted that he doesn't read books, despite comparing watching game film to reading books.


Kevin Robert Fest 1 year ago

Except for not hiring Harbaugh in 09 which started this whole mess, being able to hire Miles after the decade of disaster is a minor miracle. KU has the facilities now, except for the stadium but it should be filled with him at the helm. This is a real get, biggest name coach in the history of the program. After the last decade this is BIG.

Titus Canby 1 year ago

Great videos. Watch the "Top 10 Les Miles Quotes" too.

I wonder how the Memorial Stadium grass will taste compared to LSU's.

My only negative... he coached a team call the Tigers.

Tim Orel 1 year ago

KU's artificial surface may not be what he chooses to put between his teeth. But I hope he doesn't just because he'd otherwise be biting his tongue. He seems like a fun person to have for the press conferences, radio shows and the like.

Randy Bombardier 11 months, 4 weeks ago

No more crap interviews. Media better ask sensible questions. This man will raise the football IQ within KU fandom. No more crap and I totally endorse and expect him to bash fans for not filling the stadium and leaving early. Something better be done to correct this dismal performance.

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