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Chico hires new AD; Former Cooper, Gunter coach to lead Dragons

By Reece Waddell | Published Saturday, May 11, 2019
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Chico ISD trustees unanimously approved the hiring of Randy Miller as the school’s next athletic director and head football coach Tuesday night.

Randy Miller

Miller spent the past year as the offensive coordinator at Cooper – a 3A school in East Texas. The Bulldogs went 9-2 last season, including a 6-0 record to claim the District 9-3A Division II title.

It is Miller’s first head coaching job.

“It’s been a dream of mine for a long time,” Miller said. “I’m just very excited to get there. Meeting the people running the committee, it seems like a community my family is going to fit in with. I’m very excited for the opportunity.”

Miller’s contract is for two years at $76,095 per year.

Chico ISD Superintendent Don Elsom said there were more than 40 applicants.

“His character, in our process of vetting him and going through that, his character kind of rose him above all those around him,” Elsom said. “He’s already hit the ground running. That’s one of the things we’re excited about. He was in here [Wednesday]. I’m excited about his work ethic and his ability to get in here and get things started.”

A 2000 graduate of Gunter, Miller went on to play football at Southeastern Oklahoma. Miller got his first coaching job at his high school alma mater in 2009, and went on to make stops at Jacksboro and Howard Payne University.

He was the defensive coordinator at S&S Consolidated in Sadler before making another stop at Gunter as the run game coordinator. From there, the 36-year-old joined Cooper as the offensive coordinator for the 2018 season.

Miller is the fourth coach from Gunter’s 2016 staff to become a head coach. The Tigers went 16-0 that season, capping off the year with a 43-7 win over Boling to claim the 3A Division II championship.

“I’ve got some great mentors,” Miller said. “I’ve got some great guys I can call on that I still talk to weekly. There’s a lot of experience there at Chico.”

Miller becomes the Dragons’ third head coach and athletic director in as many years. He takes over for Clayton Sanders, who was placed on administrative leave and subsequently resigned last month.

In one season as Chico’s head coach, Sanders went 5-6 before falling 69-15 to Hawley in the bi-district round.

“I know that they’ve had their ups and downs,” Miller said. “I’m hoping that I can go in and create some stability for the program. I’m going to try and build those relationships and build that trust. At the end of the day, that’s what it comes down to.”

Miller inherits a Chico team that averaged 29.3 points last season. Under Miller’s guidance, Cooper’s offense put up 37.9 points and almost 400 yards per game.

Miller said he intends to start immediately. His wife, Jacqueline, is originally from Paradise. The couple have two children, ages 6 and 9.

“I’m planning to hit the ground running and get people hired,” Miller said. “Get in, meet the kids and those things. I feel like I’m young enough to have the energy to do it. I’m hungry, and I’m excited for the opportunity to get around these kids and get going.”

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