Seminole names Chris Miller football coach

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Wed. May 22, 2013 | Bob Putnam | Email

Seminole names Chris Miller football coach

Seminole ended its month-long search for a football coach Wednesday, hiring former Admiral Farragut coach Chris Miller.

Miller becomes just the fourth coach in Seminole’s 52-year history. He replaces Sam Roper, who retired from coaching in April after 28 seasons.

"Chris was the top choice among everyone on the committee," Seminole principal Walter Weller said. "He was just so prepared, and he had a lot of energy. We knew he would fit the right mold for our school."

Miller is charged with revitalizing a program that has won 10 games combined in the past seven seasons and has not made the playoffs since 2003.

“It’s been a whirlwind six months, to be leaving Farragut and to come here,” Miller said. “But I couldn’t be more excited. It’s going to take some work, but the good thing is I’ve been down that road before in trying to build up a program.”

Miller, first hired at Farragut in 2004 at age 22, led the Blue Jackets to three straight playoff berths from 2009-11, which included the Class 2A championship game in 2011. He went 40-32 at Farragut.

The hiring of Miller comes just a day before the Warhawks wrap up spring practice with a game against Dunedin on Thursday. Mark DeRuzzo, a longtime assistant, coached Seminole this spring in an interim basis but said he did not want to become head coach full-time.

On Wednesday, Miller met with the Seminole administration and some of the players and coaches. He said he will attend the spring game but only to observe. He will meet with the players officially Tuesday.

“I don’t want to interfere with what they’ve done all spring,” Miller said. “I’ll be able to talk to the players next week, and we’ll started right away on a workout plan for the summer.”

Miller will teach at Seminole, though he is waiting to find out from the county what he will teach.

The other finalists were Pinellas Park assistant Shawn Austin and Orlando Edgewater assistant Bill Larkin.

Bob Putnam can be reached at putnam@tampabay.com or on Twitter @BobbyHomeTeam.

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