Red Miller

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For the major league pitcher, see Red Miller (baseball).

Robert "Red" Miller (born October 31, 1927) is a former professional football coach with the Denver Broncos.

Early life and career[edit]

Miller was born and raised in Macomb, Illinois and attended Macomb Public Schools and Western Illinois University, where he was later a star player and coach for the Leathernecks football team. He began his coaching career at high schools in Astoria and Canton, Illinois, and at Carthage College.

Miller was an assistant coach with Lou Saban at Western Illinois in the late 1950s before joining Saban with the AFL's Boston Patriots in 1960. He also was an assistant with Buffalo (1962), Denver (1963–65), St. Louis (1966–70), Baltimore (1971–72) and New England (1973–76) before rejoining the Broncos as head coach.

Orange Crush coaching years (1977–1980)[edit]

Miller was named head coach of the Denver Broncos on January 31, 1977, replacing John Ralston.[1] Miller took a team led by linebackers Randy Gradishar, Bob Swenson, and Tom Jackson, cornerbacks Louis Wright and Bernard Jackson, safety Billy Thompson, and defensive end Lyle Alzado— mainstays of the Orange Crush Defense— and veteran quarterback Craig Morton (acquired via trade with the New York Giants) to a 12–2 regular season record and an AFC championship.[2]

The Broncos then faced the Tom Landry-coached Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl XII but lost, 27–10. Denver's 1977 season is chronicled in Terry Frei's 2008 book, '77: Denver, the Broncos and a Coming of Age.

The Broncos also would lose in an NFL AFC Divisional Playoff match against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Three Rivers Stadium on December 30, 1978, 33–10. They would also lose the next season to the Houston Oilers 13–7 in a classic NFL Wild Card Playoff match played in the Astrodome on December 23, 1979.

After posting an 8–8 record in 1980, and failing to return to the AFC playoffs, Miller was fired[2] by new owner Edgar Kaiser in the spring of 1981 and replaced with then Dallas Cowboy assistant and former NFL running back Dan Reeves.

Denver Gold (USFL)[edit]

In 1983 Miller became the first head coach of the Denver Gold of the USFL, but feuded bitterly with team owner Ron Blanding and was fired before the completion of the league's first season.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dick Kreck (2008-01-13). "Broncos' magic season comes alive in memories of its magnetic players". The Denver Post. Retrieved 2010-03-01. 
  2. ^ a b Tim Lynch (2009-01-30). "MHR Bronco's History Lesson; Know Your Coaches". milehighreport.com. Retrieved 2010-03-01. 

Additional sources[edit]