Photoshop Phriday: Les Miles
Before Les Miles made his name as a head coach he was an offensive lineman at the University of Michigan. Miles played under Bo Schembechler from 1972-75 and worked for the team as a graduate assistant from 1980-81. Les’ longest stint in Ann Arbor was from 1987-94 when he was Michigan’s offensive line coach. In 2001 Miles landed the head coaching job at Oklahoma State where he stayed until 2004, leaving for LSU. Of the almost 130 head coaches of NCAA FBS football teams, Miles is one of only 7 to have remained in the same job since 2005. Miles led the Tigers to the 2007 national title and SEC titles in 2007 and 2011. His teams have had very few down years and consistently put together 10+ win seasons year after year. Despite his success at LSU it had long been assumed that Miles would leave given the chance to coach at Michigan.
In Three and Out John U. Bacon details how things played out with Miles during the 2007 Michigan coaching search. Preparing for the national title game, Miles wouldn’t commit to a face-to-face meeting but made clear that if offered, he would take the job. But friction with outgoing coach Lloyd Carr, among other things, prevented the hire from being made (though not from being reported by ESPN). In 2010 Miles was never contacted about the once again vacant head coaching position. For much of November it was reported that Miles would be fired by LSU at the end of the 2015 season. Then at the last minute the powers that be reversed course, perhaps realizing the slim chance that they could find a better coach on the open market. So next year Les Miles, and his favorite soft pretzel roll practice jersey, will be back patrolling the sidelines at LSU.