Meet 'The Mad Hatter': Get to know KU's next head football coach
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.
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 Nola.com. "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.