Tiger Rag editor Matt Deville had the opportunity to sit down with new LSU football coach les Miles in an exclusive interview. Miles chatted with Tiger Rag about an array of topics most notably he and his family's adjustment to life in Baton Rouge, his coaching philosophies even how he and wife Kathy met. All of it is here and can only be found in Tiger Rag.
Deville: First and foremost, you
come from a school rich in football tradition at Michigan. Since arriving at LSU and already
experiencing some of the craze that is Tiger football with the Bayou Bash, what
are your initial impressions of LSU football?
Miles: I think it is representative
of people that really care about their school. I enjoy it. When your assistant
coaches, players and yourself work as hard as they do, it is wonderful when the
people of the state and the community that surround your school – LSU – care so
much about it. It is wonderful.
Deville: Tiger football is a
religion for true LSU fans and they take it very seriously. Besides being asked
about your skivvies at the Bayou Bash, what is one the most outrageous things
you have been asked since arriving in Baton Rouge?
Miles: I think he asked me
something about my skivvies and I used that term long ago in some sort of talk.
Then he asked me, ‘tell us about your skivvies.' He didn't ask me about the
color, but I figured I had better come up with an answer that was easy to handle
so I said, ‘my skivvies are purple.'
Deville: The question I get asked
most about you when having conversations with LSU fans is where does your
loyalty stand. We all know a portion of your heart will always be with
having played there. But with Nick Saban's departure to Miami, fans are concerned about you possibly leaving for
someday. If you had to tell them something to change there mind, what would it
Miles: This is a tremendous
opportunity. It is one in which you have the opportunity to service your
players. You have the opportunity to win the championship of the SEC, a national
championship. It is a school where they are pursuing excellence both
athletically and academically. There is no reason to leave. And understand and
although I will always care very much for Michigan, this has every opportunity that you
would want. And also, my wife is spoiled. She is a Michigan girl and she
says warm weather only.
Deville: Speaking of your wife
Kathy, how did you meet?
Miles: It is interesting. It really
is an interesting story. My first pro basketball game I ever saw, I saw the
(Detroit) Pistons play the (Los Angeles) Lakers when
the Pistons were on their first-peat, opposed to a three-peat. They were on
their way to their first championship. You know the ‘Bad Boys,' (Bill) Laimbeer
and the bunch, before the tattoos, before (Dennis) Rodman's tattoos. I went with
a buddy and it just blew my mind how big those men were running up and down the
floor and how athletic they were. I had great seats and I was really fired up
about basketball. I had just parked my car. I think that was a Sunday night. It
was a Monday morning and it was probably 7:50 or so and I was heading in for a
morning meeting and there was this relatively attractive young woman walking
through the parking lot. And myself being single I certainly would not have
forgone the opportunity to say hello. So I said coincidently, ‘did you happen to
see the game last night.' And she was a basketball coach and I had no idea she
was a basketball coach. She said ‘I absolutely did.' So we spent the 10 minutes
prior to my meeting talking basketball. And that was my first pro game and had
no experience with the sport and was not a basketball guy. And she immediately
thought wow this is a football coach and a basketball guy. And so over time, our
relationship grew. I didn't want to be inappropriate in our athletic community
and did not want to really be to forward so I operated under every premise of
professionalism that I could while getting as close as I could. It took me a
year and a half and I want you to know that I took every opportunity I could to
be around her and talk to her and enjoy her company.
Deville: Furthermore about your
wife and family, how has the Miles family adjusted to the move to Baton Rouge and the
transition of getting settled in a new community and
Miles: I give my wife a lot of
credit there. She got them down here right away. She got them right into school
I want to say, we arrived on a Sunday and I want to say they were in school on a
Tuesday or Wednesday up and running. My oldest son that is nine is playing
baseball and swimming. My oldest daughter is playing softball, possibly on two
teams, and swimming and will play basketball next year, but she is already
involved now. My youngest son is wrestling and swimming. There adjustment is
going well, but obviously they miss some close friends, but there are people
here that they are playing with and are associated with so it has been a pretty
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