Rare coaching departure under Kill as Miller leaves for Florida State

  • Updated: February 25, 2014 - 12:39 AM

Three years after arriving at Minnesota, Jerry Kill finally needs to replace a coach.

Gophers linebackers coach Bill Miller is leaving to take the same job at Florida State, making him the first member of Kill’s staff to leave since the group arrived in the Twin Cities.

Kill’s top nine assistants last year had worked under him for a combined 124 years, most in the nation. Kill has been with defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys for 19 years and offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover for 15 years.

Miller was a relative newcomer, joining the staff in 2011 after stops all over the country. He had a previous stint with the Gophers as defensive backs coach from 1986 to ’88. He also spent four years as a defensive coordinator at Miami (Fla.), where he coached Ray Lewis.

“With Billy where he’s at in his life, a chance to win a national championship a year from now means something,” Kill said. “I’ve always said, ‘If a person has an opportunity that’s best for him and his family, then I’m OK with that.’ ”

One candidate to replace Miller is Mike Sherels, the former Gophers linebacker whom Kill recently promoted from defensive graduate assistant to assistant recruiting coordinator. Kill declined to say if the team will promote from within.

“Coach Claeys will have a lot to say with that,” Kill said. “He’s got to make sure he can find someone who was a good fit for him.”

JOE CHRISTENSEN

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