Les Miles not limiting opportunities for a new job to Power 5 programs

ByDavid Ching ESPN logo
Friday, January 6, 2017

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Former LSU Tigersfootball coach Les Miles has not changed his tune since his dismissal in late September. Miles, 63, still wants to lead a program of his own.

"There are a number of great jobs out there, and I'm not limiting myself [to Power 5 programs]," Miles said Friday. "But I do want the opportunity to build, I want to stay there some time, and I want to win championships. That's pretty simple."

Miles spoke to reporters at LSU's Athletic Administration Building after safety Jamal Adamsannounced he was entering the NFL draft. Adams' family invited Miles to attend, and he was happy to accept -- even if it might have felt awkward returning to the campus where he spent 12 years as its biggest celebrity.

"Strange is not the word," Miles said of being back. "I enjoy the people in this building. Every time I go by a door, [it] is somebody that I'm pleased to see and embrace. So I had a great time. Short visit, but a great time."

The personable Miles was a well-liked leader in his time at LSU. Adams made it clear at his news conference that he wanted both of his coaches -- Miles and his replacement, Ed Orgeron -- to be part of the festivities.

"I told my father to invite Coach Miles," Adams said. "I definitely wanted him here. Family guy, and I love Coach Miles to death. I love Coach O to death. Two great guys, two great head coaches. Now it's just a family and a bond that can never be broken. To this day, I can call [Miles] anytime I need to, and I really wish the best for both of them and I know they're going to do tremendous things."

The questions for Miles is where he'll do them -- and in what capacity.

Miles has had a whirlwind couple of months, attempting to find another coaching destination. Among the openings where he was reportedly in the mix: Purdue, Houston and, most recently, Minnesota, which settled on Western Michigan's P.J. Fleck on Friday.

Miles estimated his most recent job interview came within the past 48 hours.

"Here's the interesting thing: The experience that you've had in 17 years of head-coaching experience, you can't put in a two-hour interview and it's impossible to try," Miles said. "So what you do is you do the best you can to display these great number of experiences that you've had, and then you want to see how they respond. It's important that it's a great fit. And if they don't want an experienced coach and a guy that's been through really a number of situations, I understand. I really do, and I'm for them."

Miles recognizes that many college football fans believe he could be an entertaining television analyst and personality. He was one of the sport's most colorful personalities in his LSU tenure, as he won a national title, played for another and became the most consistent winner in LSU history.

He has not ruled out media work as a possibility but remains firm that his No. 1 objective is to coach again.

"I think [TV is] something that I would enjoy being close to the game," Miles said. "But I'm a coach. I have so much experience at the things that I've done that it would be hard for me to just put those down. ... So for me not to be able to step to the field and show a young man, 'This is how we do it,' and move on from there, I just can't imagine it at this point. Maybe at another time. Yeah, maybe, but not at this point. I'm a coach."