New Linebacker Coach Hired

UFInsider.com first reported to you last night that the open Linebacker's Coach position was down to two candidates and that Zook met with one of those candidates yesterday. That candidate was Bill Miller and today he was officially hired as Jerry Odom's replacement. Here is the release.

Gainesville, FL - Bill Miller has been named linebackers' coach at the University of Florida, Gator head football coach Ron Zook announced Friday.

Miller has been a defensive coordinator for the last eight seasons, four of them at the University of Miami and the last four at Michigan State. Miller was also the defensive coordinator, linebackers and defensive backs coach at Oklahoma State from 1989 to 1994 and also has coaching stints at Minnesota, Nevada-Reno, Drake and Texas Arlington.

"I'm excited about the addition of Bill Miller to our staff," said Zook. "He has coached a lot of football and he brings a wealth of knowledge to the defensive side of the ball. He has been around some great programs and some great players and has solid recruiting relationships in the state of Florida. We are looking forward to having him join the Gator family."

The 45-year old Miller coached six NFL Draft choices in his Michigan State tenure and was nominated for the 2000 Broyles Award, which recognizes college football's top assistant. His 2000 Spartan defense led the Big Ten in total defense, pass defense and pass efficiency defense despite losing six starters and three NFL players from the season before. His 1999 unit ranked fifth in the nation in rushing defense, 12th in total defense and 22nd in scoring defense.

As the defensive coordinator at Miami from 1995-98, Miller helped the Hurricanes to a 31-15 record and a share of back-to-back Big East Championships (1995-96). In his first three years at Miami, Miller helped develop eight NFL Draft picks, including four first-round selections.

"I'm thrilled and excited about the opportunity to join one of the elite football programs in the nation," said Miller. "I look forward to returning to the state of Florida, where I have recruited for the last 17 years and I'm anxious to get to work with Coach Zook and the rest of his staff."

Miller replaces Jerry Odom, who was hired by former UF defensive coordinator John Thompson to join the East Carolina staff.

Bill Miller Coaching History:

Texas Arlington (Graduate Assistant) 1979-80 Oklahoma State (Graduate Assistant) 1981-82 Drake (Secondary Coach) 1983-85 Nevada-Reno (Defensive Coordinator and Secondary Coach) 1986-88 Minnesota (Defensive Backs Coach) 1989-94 Oklahoma State (Defensive Coordinator, linebackers and defensive backs coach) 1995-98 Miami (Defensive Coordinator) 1999-02 Michigan State (Defensive Coordinator)

The Miller File

Education:

Bachelor's degree in psychology from Texas Arlington in 1978

Playing Experience:

Two-year starter at strong safety at Texas Arlington (1977-78) after transferring from Hutchinson (Kan.) Junior College

Family:

Married to the former Lisa Swanson of St. Paul, Minn. Two children; Cole (12) and Jackson (9).


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