Monday, February 24, 2014
Gophers lose LB coach Miller to FSU
By Brian Bennett
One of the hallmarks of Jerry Kill's tenure at Minnesota -- and previous stops -- is the continuity of his coaching staff.
Well, the Gophers' stability has taken a hit, as assistant head coach/linebackers coach Bill Miller has accepted a position at Florida State. Remarkably, Miller is the first assistant to leave Kill's staff in the four years since the group took over in Minneapolis.
Miller was a trusted member of the staff with 36 years of coaching experience, including an earlier stint with the Gophers from 1986-88. He did good work with the Minnesota linebackers, especially with heavy turnover between the 2012 and '13 seasons.
Miller will return to the Sunshine State, where he coached at Florida and Miami during his career. Kill can't really blame a guy for leaving to work for the defending national champions.
"Having the chance to win a national championship a year from now means something," Kill said.
The timing of Miller's departure is unfortunate for the Gophers, who begin spring practice on Tuesday. Kill wouldn't comment on what direction he might turn to hire a new linebackers coach except to say that defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys would have a large input. With so much staff stability elsewhere, Minnesota can handle the absence of Miller early in spring ball, and Kill could have a replacement on board before practice wraps up April 12.
It's still pretty amazing how little transition Minnesota has had with its coaching staff since hiring Kill. He's extremely loyal to his assistants, saying on Monday that he would not have signed his new contract extension and raise if it did not include a provision to keep his staff salary pool among the upper half of the Big Ten.