Bill Miller Joins Kansas Football Staff

Jan. 10, 2009

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Veteran Bill Miller has been hired as an assistant football coach at Kansas it was announced by Jayhawk head coach Mark Mangino on Saturday. Miller will serve as the linebackers coach and co-defensive coordinator for the Jayhawks.

Miller, a Hutchinson, Kan. native, comes to Kansas after spending the 2008 season as the linebackers coach at Louisville. He had been promoted to defensive coordinator heading into the 2009 campaign.

In addition to coaching the linebackers at KU, Miller will hold the title of co-defensive coordinator, a position which was previously held by current Kansas defensive coordinator Clint Bowen in the 2006 and 2007 seasons.

Miller has also served as a defensive coordinator at Nevada, Oklahoma State, Miami, Michigan State, Arizona State and Western Michigan. He was also the associate head coach and linebackers coach at Florida.

Other coaching stops in his 31-year college coaching career include Texas-Arlington, Drake and Minnesota. He has been on the staff of five teams which have won conference championships (1981, 83, 85, 95 and 96).

“Bill is a highly respected defensive coach in college football,” 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 will be looking to replace all three starting linebackers from the 2008 Jayhawks as James Holt, Joe Mortensen and Mike Rivera were all seniors this past season. Each player led the team in season tackles during their careers, as Rivera led in 2006, Mortensen in 2007 and Holt last year.

“Obviously I am very excited about coming home and being part of the Kansas program,’ Miller said. “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.”

After graduating from Hutchinson (Kan.) High School in 1974 he played football at Hutchinson Junior College from 1974-75 before finishing his playing career as a safety at Texas-Arlington in 1976 and 1977. He graduated with a psychology degree in 1978. Miller immediately began coaching, starting out as a graduate assistant at his alma mater.

“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.”

Last season at Louisville he was part of a defensive staff, which improved the Cardinal defense from the previous year. The Cardinals allowed 48 fewer yards per game in 2008 than they did in 2007 and improved from 72nd to 37th in the nation in rushing defense. One of his linebackers at Louisville, Jon Dempsey, earned All-Big East Second Team honors after leading the team with 80 tackles in 2008.

At Western Michigan in 2007, the Broncos produced four all-conference honorees on defense, while forcing 24 turnovers. The Bronco defense led the Mid-American Conference in pass efficiency defense, ranked second in sacks and fourth in total defense, pass defense and tackles for loss.

At Arizona State his last defensive team finished second in the Pac-10 in total defense behind USC. While at Florida, the Gators played in two bowl games

At Michigan State, six of Miller’s defensive players earned All-Big 10 First Team honors with 16 others earning second team or honorable mention accolades. Twice Miller’s defense led the Big 10 in total defense. The Spartans were ranked seventh in the final Associated Press poll in 1999.

While Miller was at Miami, the Hurricane shared consecutive Big East Conference championships in 1995 and 1996. In 1996 Miller’s defense limited five opponents to seven points or less. In 1997 the Hurricane led the Big East in pass defense, while in 1998 Miami was second in the conference in rush defense. When he was at Minnesota, the Gophers beat top-ranked Michigan in 1986 and advanced to the Liberty Bowl.

During his time at Nevada the Wolfpack advanced to the I-AA (now FCS) national semifinals in 1983 and 1985. While at Drake, the Bulldogs were 10-1 and shared the Missouri Valley Conference title in 1981.

Among the coaches Miller has worked for are Jimmy Johnson and Pat Jones (Oklahoma State), Chris Ault (Nevada), Butch Davis (Miami), Nick Saban (Michigan State), Ron Zook (Florida), Dirk Koetter (Arizona State), and Steve Kragthorpe (Louisville).

Miller and his wife Lisa have two children, Cole and Jackson.

Mangino also announced that Steve Tovar, the team’s linebacker coach for the past two seasons, resigned to pursue other opportunities.

“We appreciate Steve’s hard work and dedication to the program,” Mangino said. “We all wish him well in his future endeavors.”

Bill Miller File

Coaching Experience

1978 Texas-Arlington Graduate Assistant

1979-80 Oklahoma State Graduate Assistant

1981-82 Drake Secondary

1983-85 Nevada Defensive Coordinator

1986-88 Minnesota Defensive Backs

1989-94 Oklahoma State Defensive Coordinator

1995-98 Miami Defensive Coordinator

1999-2002 Michigan State Defensive Coordinator

2003-04 Florida Associate Head Coach/Linebackers

2005-06 Arizona State Defensive Coordinator

2007 Western Michigan Defensive Coordinator

2008 Louisville Linebackers

2009- Kansas Defensive Line

Bowl Games (Season)

1986 Liberty (Minnesota)

1996 Carquest (Miami)

1998 Micron PC (Miami)

1999 Citrus (Michigan State)

2001 Silicon Valley (Michigan State)

2003 Outback (Florida)

2004 Peach (Florida)

2005 Insight (Arizona State)

2006 Insight (Arizona State)

2007 International (Western Michigan)

FCS Playoffs

1983 Semifinals (Nevada)

1985 Semifinals (Nevada)

Playing Experience

1974-75 Hutchinson (Kan.) Junior College

1976-77 Texas-Arlington


1974 Hutchinson (Kan.) High School

1978 Texas-Arlington


Born Hutchinson, Kan.

Wife Lisa

Children Cole and Jackson