Bill Miller hire a home run for Kansas football


Bill Miller roams the field in this photo from his days as an assistant coach at Western Michigan.

Bill Miller roams the field in this photo from his days as an assistant coach at Western Michigan.

Eight consecutive years of anywhere from zero to three victories have put many a Kansas football fan in such a guarded state of mind that to write anything nice about the program is to run the risk of being accused of "hyping" the team.

Consider yourself warned: I am not hyping the Jayhawks, not predicting that KU can contend for a bowl game in 2018 and won't yet even go so far as to predict a victory in the season-opener vs. underrated Nicholls State, but I am going to write something nice about KU football. So if you are afraid that it will lead you to get your hopes up yet again, thus setting yourself up for disappointment, this might be a good time to find something else to read on

Here goes:

David Beaty made a terrific addition to his coaching staff by bringing veteran linebackers coach Bill Miller on board.

Kansas Athletics hasn't announced Miller's hiring yet, but he's already recruiting for Kansas, both on campus over the weekend, and out of town this week.

Miller has worked for, among others, Nick Saban, Jimmy Johnson, Butch Davis, Jimbo Fisher, Mark Mangino and Jerry Kill, a list of coaches who know how to evaluate assistants.

Miller will coach linebackers, so it will be interesting to see what assignment shifts that sets in motion. One strong possibility: Linebackers coach Todd Bradford will move to cornerbacks, and Kenny Perry, who doubles as recruiting coordinator, will move to special teams coordinator. Bradford has spent more seasons coaching the secondary during his career than any other position group.

Perry's first job after concluding his playing career at Houston came at his alma mater, where he worked with special teams and defensive backs. Plus, he was a head high school football coach for 13 seasons in Texas and has worked with specific special-teams units at TCU and Kansas.

Miller's strong reputation extends beyond his work on the field. His connections Kansas and Florida coupled with his his ability to evaluate talent give him value as a recruiter as well.

At Kansas, Miller received a verbal commitment from Class of 2010 Hutchinson High defensive end Geno Grissom, who would have honored his commitment had Miller been retained by Turner Gill. Upon learning that Miller would not be coaching at Kansas, Grissom switched to Oklahoma, where he eventually became a tight end. A reserve linebacker, Grissom is on the New England Patriots Super Bowl roster.

The Miller hiring is good news for Kansas, such good news that I imagine that Beaty eventually will get around to announcing it, although he too appears a little skittish about being accused of hyping the team yet again.


Steve Corder 1 year, 2 months ago

That's ok, Tom. I'll take any good & potentially positive news on KU football you care to share. But, it's good you put in the disclaimer.

Tom Keegan 1 year, 2 months ago

Thanks. I don't know why Beaty won't announce this. It's good news. Why keep it a secret?

Chris DeWeese 1 year, 2 months ago

Beaty seems to be keeping a very low profile these days. Can't say I blame him considering the amount of vitriol and hate that was spewed his way last year. More to your point, I'm not getting excited about anything KU football related again until I see results in the W-L column. It's great we have these 4 star recruits and assistants with great power 5 pedigrees. Now what?

Dale Rogers 1 year, 2 months ago

Do they announce before a legal contract is signed?

Mike Hart 1 year, 2 months ago

Tom Keegan: Thank you for the article and for sharing your support for this addition to the staff.

[''] 1 year, 2 months ago

I wondered about Perry. Our players at that position weren't so hot...a change may help....

Jeff Coffman 1 year, 2 months ago

It looks like I was wrong about this hire. I still don't think it will matter since Bowen is still on the coaching staff.

Gerry Butler 1 year, 2 months ago

Wondering with Miller coaching so many years in the State of Texas and working for some upper tier Coaches, if he can help establish ties back in Texas?

[''] 1 year, 2 months ago

If has great ties to TX curious as to why Jimbo didn't keep him on staff when he took over at A&M???

Michael Maris 1 year, 2 months ago

It would've been great if Turner Gill had kept Coach Miller on Staff (back in that era). How good would've Geno Grissom turned out to be? Hard to tell, but, it is what it is. The thing that I've noticed (over these past 7 years or so, since let go by Turner Gill), Coach Miller continued recruiting players from the State of Kansas / Kansas City region each and every year. So hopefully, his Kansas City / State of Kansas ties are still working in his favor (even more) now (that he's back in Lawrence, Kansas).

John Fitzgerald 1 year, 2 months ago

I like this hire. No, I love this hire. Still not sure how we’ll end up next year but could help us in the future.

Also, I put together some stats on him if anyone’s interested. Makes the hire even more impressive.

Bj Cassady 1 year, 2 months ago

Bottom line it is about the players and how they play. If you do not have the players, I don't care how good the coaches are.

John Brazelton 1 year, 2 months ago

The offensive line is still the key for the 2018 season. We should have enough experienced 300 pounders, plus, if they can be sorted out into the proper positions and become Big 12 quality players so our QBs and running backs can do their jobs to the best of their abilities.

Robert Brock 1 year, 2 months ago

Maybe he can get Beaty his second FBS victory. Ya got Texas and...who’s it gonna be?

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