Les Miles sat for greater than hour, a Kansas pin on his left lapel and his LSU nationwide championship ring on his proper hand, answering wave after wave of typically repetitive questions as he closes in on his return to teaching — and the Huge 12 — with the long-suffering Jayhawks.
The session began with whether or not the one-game suspension for operating again Pooka Williams in a home case was too quick, and ended with the 65-year-old reminiscing about leaving the Dallas Cowboys for Oklahoma State and his first shot as a head coach practically twenty years in the past.
In between, the theme was fairly constant. The 2011 nationwide coach of the yr believes he’ll quickly be again the place he belongs after 2½ years away: on the sideline.
“I think it’s an enjoyment and a realization how much I am a football coach and how much I enjoy going to the sideline with my team,” Miles stated as Huge 12 media days opened Monday.
With that thought, Miles tried to peek by way of the group of reporters, in search of one of many tunnels on the dwelling of the Dallas Cowboys as a result of he realized he was on the identical discipline the place eight years earlier he led the Tigers right into a season opener towards Oregon.
“That moment, just kind of something that I fall back on, how much I enjoy taking the field with a team that was ready to play,” stated Miles, whose crew beat Oregon and was 13-Zero earlier than dropping to Alabama within the BCS championship sport to finish the 2011 season.
The title got here 4 years earlier with a BCS win over Ohio State. Practically a decade later, Miles was fired at LSU after a 2-2 begin in 2016, having weathered years of criticism that his offense was too old school for the pass-happy school sport.
Now he finds himself within the pass-happiest convention among the many Energy 5 leagues, the place outscoring opponents has typically been the trick to profitable the title, as Oklahoma has proven whereas profitable a report 4 straight Huge 12 championships.
“If we need to throw the ball to win the game, we want to throw the ball to win the game,” stated Miles, who signed a five-year contract value $15.1 million earlier than efficiency incentives. “If we need to run the ball to win the game, we’re going to run the ball to win the game.”
The hardest questions for Miles have been about the point of interest of that operating sport: Williams. The sophomore was just lately reinstated after being away from the crew seven months following his arrest in a home battery case involving an 18-year-old girl.
The suspension for the season opener Aug. 31 towards Indiana State has been criticized as inadequate after the Kansas scholar Williams was relationship accused him of punching her within the abdomen and grabbing her throat.
Miles stated it was necessary for him to remain out of the investigation by regulation enforcement and the college’s code of conduct proceedings. Williams, who ran for 1,125 yards and 7 touchdowns as a freshman, reached a home violence diversion settlement with prosecutors.
“He’s been remorseful,” Miles stated. “He’s learned from this experience, as has our team. We’re thankful to have him back, and, again, no violence against a woman is OK. I did not make this decision, but I stand by it and see it as a right one.”
Miles’ return to the Huge 12 is much like his first stint within the league, beginning in 2001. Oklahoma State had only one profitable report in 12 years earlier than he arrived, then went to bowl video games the final three of Miles’ 4 seasons there.
Kansas has gone 18-90 whereas dumping three head coaches since Mark Mangino was fired two years after main the Jayhawks to an Orange Bowl win and a 12-1 report in 2007 — the identical season Miles received his nationwide title.
Miles, who inherited a robust program from Nick Saban at LSU, went 114-34 with the Tigers, profitable at the least 10 video games in seven of his 11 full seasons. Oh, and security Mike Lee has seen that ring.
“He wears it every day,” stated Lee, a senior. “Looking at the ring, I want to get me a national championship ring. But before we get to a national championship, we got to get to a bowl game.”
Miles could not have scripted that reply any higher, and the oldest head coach within the Huge 12 believes he can get that course of began, utilizing the identical power that was a lot part of the quirky sideline conduct at his earlier two stops.
“If it’s not the oldest coach, then what is the alternative? I think I’ll take being the oldest coach,” he stated.
And if he appears as if he is slowed down a bit at retirement age, whereas taking on a soccer program dwarfed by its basketball counterpart ?
“I can only tell you that my focus is clean,” Miles stated. “My preparation is early to late. I think this Kansas team will be difficult to reckon with should we stay on task.”
In different phrases, do not sleep on Miles’ Jayhawks.