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Updated: February 24th, 2014 1:10pm
Gophers LB coach Bill Miller leaving for position at Florida State

Gophers LB coach Bill Miller leaving for position at Florida State

by Nate Sandell
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MINNEAPOLIS --- Linebackers coach Bill Miller is leaving the Minnesota Gophers for a coaching position at Florida State, Gophers head coach Jerry Kill confirmed Monday.

Kill brought in Miller, a 57-year-old college football journeyman, when he took over the Gopher football program in 2011. Miller's departure is the first significant alteration to Kill's long tenured staff in his now four-years at the helm of the Gophers.

Miller, who also served as an assistant head coach under Kill, is expected to take over as linebackers coach on Jimbo Fisher's defending national champion Seminoles.

"With Billy and what he wants to do, and 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 is what is best for him and his family, I'm OK with that. At this point and time in his career, it's best for him and his family."

Miller oversaw a Gophers linebacker unit that has undergone drastic improvements in the last three seasons as part of defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys' overhaul of the "U" defense.

Minnesota's defense was statistical one of the lowest rated units in the Big Ten in 2011. Since then, the Gophers' have risen to formidable status, ranking fourth in the conference in scoring defense (22.2 points per game) last season.

Kill is now tasked with filling the vacancy on his staff. Kill wouldn't discuss if he plans to promote from within or look elsewhere through his various coaching ties. However, he was adamant that Claeys would be integral to any hiring decision.

"He's got to make sure he can find who is a good fit for him," Kill said. "Of course, I'll be the final stamp on it, but Coach Claeys will have a tremendous amount of impact."

Nate Sandell is a contributor to
Email Nate | @nsandell