Coahoma Community College in Clarksdale is turning to an Olive Branch native to lead its football program.
The school Monday announced the hiring of Steven Miller as its next head football coach.
"Anytime you have a change of guard, there is optimism. We certainly are excited and we have a sense of expectation - renewed expectation," President Valmadge T. Towner said of Miller's hire by the Board of Trustees on Monday. "We feel he has the capacity to bring uplift to the program. We are simply trying to make things better, to have a good experience for our student athletes as well as have a program that our community can be proud of."
Miller comes back to Mississippi after serving as an assistant coach at Tabor College, an NAIA school in Hillsboro, Kan for two seasons. He was also an assistant coach at William Penn College in Oskaloosa, Iowa.
This past season’s Tabor Bluejays finished with an 11-2 overall record and 9-0 in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference. Tabor reached the quarterfinals of the NAIA playoffs before losing to Morningside (Iowa).
His coaching background also includes time as an assistant coach at his college alma mater at Northwestern State in Louisiana, Arkansas Tech and Northwest Mississippi Community College in Senatobia, when the Rangers won a pair of MACJC state championships and an NJCAA national title.
Miller’s resume also has him as a head coach at Itawamba High School and an assistant football coach and head track coach at Olive Branch High School, along with a brief stint as head coach of the semi-pro Pella (Iowa) Knights.
"Coahoma has always been a site for me," Miller was quoted in a news release. "I've been very interested in the area and the culture, and the opportunity came about to apply for the head football job. It worked out for me."
Now, Miller’s challenge is to revive a Coahoma program that was winless in nine games last fall.
"To bring in the great players to Coahoma, we've just got to go locally,” Miller said. “If you look on everybody's roster around the state of Mississippi, they have at least one player from the Coahoma County area. We need to keep those players here."
The new Tiger coach will have the opportunity to choose his own assistant coaching staff and has already decided to retain Cedric Shell, who served as offensive coordinator under Karl Morgan and whom he knows from time spent together in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference. Other coaching hires are expected to be finalized in the coming weeks.
Bob Bakken is Sports Editor and may be reached at 662-429-6397 ext. 240.