Kansas State co-ofensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Del Miller, a mainstay on the Wildcat football coaching staff under Bill Snyder for 20 years, announced his retirement Monday.
Miller will remain on staff as a quality control coach through the end of his current contract, which expires in May. K-State confirmed former Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein will replace Miller on the staff as quarterbacks coach, while Dana Dimel will become the sole offensive coordinator.
Miller, who has tutored some of the best quarterbacks and coached during some of the Wildcats’ most memorable seasons in school history, has helped K-State accumulate 150 wins, 12 bowl appearances and two Big 12 Championships during his tenure in Manhattan.
“I’m very appreciative of the opportunity I’ve had here at Kansas State,” Miller said. “I’ve enjoyed my time with many players that I’ve coached through the years. They are the guys that make it worthwhile. I certainly want to express my thanks to Coach Snyder for the opportunity he presented me in 1989.
“I think we’re at a point where we have a very stable situation in terms of quarterbacks coming up. We have an experienced quarterback coming back, and the stable of quarterbacks is solid for quite some time. I think the next coach will have some people to work with. I thought this was a good time because most of our players are coming back, so that transition can work very smoothly.”
Miller was the first assistant coach hired by Snyder at K-State in 1989, and helped turn the Wildcats from one of the losingest programs in college football history into an annual postseason participant and conference-title contender.
“I am very grateful to Del for staying with us as long as he has. He is a major contributor to the foundation of Kansas State football as we know it today,” Snyder said. “Having been the very first assistant coach hired for us in 1988 and still with us today, speaks volumes. Del left the program for four years to serve as a head coach but came back to us shortly thereafter because this was where he wanted to be.
“Del has been a great contributor to our program, our University and our community,” Snyder continued. “He is well received by his peers and our players and represented our program as a committed, loyal, hard-working, caring, disciplined and responsible coach ... He and his wonderful wife, Jan, and sons Todd and Tad will be dearly missed.”
During his time at K-State, Miller has tutored a Heisman Trophy finalist in Collin Klein (2012) in addition to five quarterbacks that earned all-conference honors — Chad May (1993 and 1994), Ell Roberson (2003), Klein (2011 and 2012), Daniel Sams (2013) and Jake Waters (2014). Klein was the 2012 Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year and also earned multiple All-America honors.
Under Miller’s watch, K-State has set 12 school passing records as a team, while K-State quarterbacks have put their names atop the record book in 46 categories. Miller ended his coaching career on a high note but hasn’t left the cupboard bare, tutoring junior Jesse Ertz, who was the MVP of the 2016 Texas Bowl. Ertz was one of three quarterbacks in school history to rush for 1,000 yards and pass for 1,500 yards, while he was one of only four in the nation to accomplish the feat during the 2016 season. The fellow Iowan recorded the school’s 15th 1,000yard rushing season and finished third in school history among signal callers in single- season rushing yards. Ertz was recently named one of the top-25 returning players in the Big 12 by ESPN.com.
Miller played a major role in the building of two major college programs, first at Iowa under the legendary Hayden Fry from 1978-88 before coming to K-State. With the opportunity to run his own program, Miller left Kansas State in 1995 to take over as head coach at Southwest Missouri State (now Missouri State). He guided the Bears to a 21-23 record in four seasons, including their first winning mark in three years in 1996 at 7-4. Following his departure from Springfield, Miller served as a graduate assistant at K-State in 1999 and the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State in 2000 before returning to Manhattan the next year to serve as the assistant director of football operations.
Miller got back on the field in 2002 coaching the defensive ends and was the co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 2003-05.
Following Snyder’s retirement from K-State in 2005, Miller became the offensive coordinator at San Diego State from 2006-08 and returned to Kansas State when Snyder came out of retirement in 2009.
Miller began his coaching career in 1972 when he was named head coach at Plainfield High School in Plainfield, Iowa. In 1975, he left to become the defensive coordinator at Eagle Grove High School in Eagle Grove, Iowa, before serving as head coach at Eagle Grove from 1977-78.