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Max Miller to be Folsom High's defensive coordinator

Coaching legend back to work after retiring two years ago
By: Matt Long
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After blowing a 35-7 halftime lead to Del Oro in the Division II section semifinals, Folsom High varsity football coach Kris Richardson knew something had to be done to improve the defense. He called friend and coaching legend Max Miller, Cordova High’s long-time coach who retired two years ago, simply to see if he knew of any defensive coaches who were looking for a coaching opportunity. “And Max goes, what about me,” Richardson said. “We sat down a couple times and talked about what I was looking for and he told me what he was looking for and he said he was interested. Max is a great addition to our staff. His experience alone will help us and the defense we will play is something he’s taught his whole career.” Miller, 69, isn’t just another coach. He’s got more wins than any coach in Sac-Joaquin Section history, which obviously brings him instant credibility. “I’ve run the 5-2 defense a long time,” Miller said. “Everyone thinks that I’m more of an offensive coach because of all the great backs I’ve had, but we always played great defense. The 5-2 defense fits the kids that Folsom has and it allows you to do different things in coverage and gives you multiple looks. The kids are going to love it.” After two years of being out of the game, Miller is thrilled to be coaching again and he’s very excited to be at Folsom. “I’ve been offered a lot of coaching jobs since I retired, but I wasn’t interested in being a head coach again,” Miller said. “I missed coaching and this is a great opportunity for me. I’ve been up to watch a couple of Kris’ practices last fall and I was impressed with the kids. I want to create an atmosphere where the kids are excited about playing defense and I want a defense that can take control of a game. I’m very anxious to meet the players. It’s going to be a lot of fun.” Miller missed being around the kids and competing and simply missed the game he spent 45 years coaching and another eight years playing. He and his wife, Sally, live in Gold River so the commute to Folsom isn’t a problem. Miller said some keys to having a good defense include lining up correctly, being able to adjust to different formations, good tackling and playing with a lot of emotion. “The game is blocking and tackling and you have to take pride in tackling,” Miller said. “A lot of kids these days watch a lot of football and see guys just throwing their bodies into people. We will be tackling on defense, not blocking. We will also be able to read and react to what the play is too.” Richardson knows that Miller is not a miracle worker, but he knows that he’s a good coach that knows defense. He hopes the addition of Miller can put his team in the section championship game next year. “I hope he can put us over the top,” Richardson said. “He’s lived and breathed that defense for more than 30 years and he’s recharged after being out of the game for two years. I’m ecstatic that he’s here. Just his experience and his presence and his attention to detail will help us. Is he a savior? I can’t say that but he’s a major addition to our coaching staff, I know that.”