Beaty adds highly regarded Bill Miller to Kansas football staff
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas football head coach David Beaty added 40 years of coaching experience to his staff as he announced the hiring of the highly respected Bill Miller to his staff Monday. Miller, who is returning to his home state and beginning his second stint on the Kansas coaching staff, will coach the KU linebackers.
“Bill Miller is as highly regarded as they come in the coaching community,” said Beaty. “The amount of respect he commands from his players and the coaches he works alongside is tremendous. He is a leader in our field when it comes to developing players, and I am ecstatic to have him joining our program.”
With Miller coaching the linebackers, Beaty also announced that assistant coach Todd Bradford will now mentor the Jayhawk safeties, while assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Clint Bowen will now work with the cornerbacks. Kenny Perry will move into the special teams coordinator position and will also remain serving as KU’s recruiting coordinator.
Throughout his career, Miller has worked with some of the most successful and innovative collegiate coaches, including Nick Saban (Michigan State), Jimmy Johnson (Oklahoma State), Butch Davis (Miami) and most recently Jimbo Fisher. He was a semifinalist for the Broyles Award, which is presented annually to college football’s assistant coach of the year, while at Michigan State (2000) and Florida (2003). Miller has been on staff with six teams that have won conference championships and has coached in 14 bowl games.
Miller made his way back to KU after spending the previous four years at Florida State coaching linebackers. Under Miller’s guidance, Florida State’s linebackers were the leaders of the FSU defense and helped propel the Seminoles to three “New Year’s Six” bowl games.
In 2016, after losing leaders Reggie Northrup and Terrance Smith in the linebacker core, Miller’s group barely missed a beat. Florida State finished 22nd in total defense (349.1), 17th in third-down percentage (.339) and 22nd in tackles for loss per game (7.3) in the country.
Miller showed his ability to develop talent, as first-year starter Matthew Thomas led the team in tackles (77) including a standout game against No. 6 Michigan in the Orange Bowl, where Thomas set a career high in tackles (15) and TFL (3.5), leading Thomas to ESPN’s All Bowl-Team.
In 2015, senior linebackers Northrup and Smith both captured all-conference honors for the second-straight year to lead an FSU defense that ranked ninth in the country in scoring defense (17.8) and 19th in total defense (336.9). Northrup rebounded from an ACL injury to lead FSU in tackles (94) for a second-straight year en route to All-ACC second team honors, while Smith battled injuries, but still totaled 65 tackles in nine games on his way to All-ACC honorable mention honors.
In 2014, Smith (87 tackles) grabbed All-ACC second team honors and Northrup (122 stops) collected All-ACC third team accolades to lead the Seminoles to an ACC Championship and a berth in the first-ever College Football Playoff Semifinal. Northrup’s tackle total was the most by a Seminole since 2002.
Before his time in Tallahassee, Miller was at Minnesota for three years where he helped shape a defense that in 2013 allowed only 289 points, which was the first time that the Gophers allowed less than 300 points since 2004.
Miller had to replace two starters at linebacker in 2013 and did an admirable job with his corps as Damien Wilson was second on the team with 78 tackles. Miller’s linebackers also made big plays in 2013, as Aaron Hill scored two touchdowns and James Manuel scored one.
Prior to joining the Gophers, Miller coached the linebackers and served as the co-defensive coordinator during his first go-round at KU in 2009.
Miller coached the linebackers at Louisville in 2008 and had been promoted to defensive coordinator before accepting the position at Kansas. Miller was the defensive coordinator at Western Michigan in 2007.
He was the defensive coordinator at Arizona State from 2005-06 on Dirk Koetter’s staff and quickly turned around the Sun Devil defense. In one year, he took the Arizona State defense from last in the Pac-10 to second (behind USC) in total defense.
In 2003-04, Miller was the associate head coach and linebackers coach at Florida. He spent 1999-2002 at Michigan State as the Spartans’ defensive coordinator on coach Saban’s staff. While in East Lansing, Miller’s defense finished first in the Big Ten in total defense and the Spartans beat Florida in the 2000 Citrus Bowl.
From 1995-98, he ran the defense for Miami (Fla.) and won two Big East championships as a member of coach Butch Davis’ staff. From 1989-94, Miller was the defensive coordinator at Oklahoma State.
Miller’s first experience at Minnesota was from 1986-88, when he served as the Gophers’ defensive backs coach on John Gutekunst’s staff. He helped lead Minnesota to a 20-17 win at Michigan as the Gophers handed the previously unbeaten and second-ranked Wolverines their first loss of the season.
He coordinated the defense at Nevada from 1983-85. His defense led the Big Sky in total defense twice as the Wolf Pack won two Big Sky championships during his tenure.
His first full-time job in collegiate coaching was in 1981, when he coached the secondary at Drake for two seasons. Miller got his start in coaching as a graduate assistant at Texas-Arlington in 1978 on Bud Elliott’s staff. He followed that with a stint as a graduate assistant for two seasons (1979-80) at Oklahoma State under Jimmy Johnson.
Miller, who also coached in the 1991 Blue-Gray Football Classic, is a graduate of Hutchinson (Kan.) High School. He played two years at Hutchinson Junior College in 1974-75 and then finished his collegiate career playing safety at Texas-Arlington in 1976-77.
Miller, who earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Texas-Arlington in 1978, and his wife Lisa have two grown children, Cole and Jackson.