Chris Miller takes the football reins for second stint
December 20, 2012By Tucker Kennedy-Studach of South Eugene High School
Before his first stint as Head Coach of South Eugene Football, the Axemen had not made the Oregon State Playoffs for eight years. During the next five years, 2002-06, under Chris Miller's leadership, South's record was 31-21, making the playoffs all but his first season. SE made it to the second round in '05 and reached the quarter finals in '06. After he left, the Football program fell on hard times once again. SE has not made the playoffs since his departure and has only two victories in the last three seasons.
Chris Miller is ready for "round two."
During the halftime break of South Eugene's Boys Basketball victory against Springfield, our very own Play-by-Play analyst, Colin Deaver, interviewed Miller. "I really love the high school game. I think its football in its purest form," said Miller.
Before his time with South, Miller was a NFL first round draft pick by Atlanta. He played quarterback for 10 years with the Falcons, Rams, and Broncos. After his first stint, he worked at Kidsports as the Executive Director and then returned to the pro game to serve as Quarterbacks Coach of the Arizona Cardinals from '09-'11. "Being a QB coach in the NFL for three years I learned a tremendous amount of football. A lot of run game stuff that maybe I didn’t study a lot before, when I was a player. A lot of protection things"..."learning defensive schemes. So I feel like I’m really armed at the best level I’ve ever been at to pass a lot of that knowledge to these kids, teach them a lot of football, teach my coaching staff a lot, and see what we can do here, how quickly we can build a winner.
Chris Miller was asked what he will do differently his second term as Head Coach. “My first go around I think I coached like a player, with a players mentality. And then when you’re (coaching) in the NFL for three years, you really realize how much work goes into the game plan, behind the scenes getting ready. Meeting with your QB’s, then having a practice, then another meeting, and watching film with them after that. I think preparation is going to be key. We gotta put in the time, we won’t be afraid to work hard (and) We’ll match it with good schemes. I think I’ll be more diligent in how I approach it, how I have my coaches prepare, as well as the players.”
On the offensive and defensive schemes he will use, “Well, I’ve got access to run pretty much everything. I’m going to design an offense around our skill sets. We’ll be an attacking style offense that’s dynamic and fun to watch. Hopefully we’ll be prolific an score a lot of points. Defensively I want to do some of the ‘fire zone’ and ‘dog zone’ that the Pittsburgh Stealers, Baltimore Ravens, and San Francisco 49ers do. See if we can create mismatches and test protection schemes and just get our guys playing aggressively, flying around, playing through the whistle, and having fun, creating a good brand of football that people will want to watch.”
“The academics here, there’s none better in the State. So if we can match that with a good football program and a good coaching staff, we’ll get some good momentum going,” Miller said. “I’m excited to be back.”