Mississippi coaching legend retires after state championship

By Dan Guttenplan, FNF Coaches Managing Editor

There’s no better way for a coach to go out than by retiring moments after lifting a state championship trophy over his head. Louisville High (Miss.) coach M.C. Miller did just that in November.

M.C. Miller always felt like an innovator in high school football. Back when he started his coaching career in the 1970s, he was rolling out an offense with three or four receivers while other teams were running the wishbone.

Forty-five years later, Miller is calling it a career because he claims he’s having a difficult time keeping up with all of the advances of the sport. Of course, this could be a case of Miller being humble because he recently finished off his career on top – lifting Louisville High to a Mississippi Class 4A state championship.

“I watch a lot of film by myself, but my young coaches have to take it from HUDL and put it on a DVD,” Miller said. “I can’t do that. When I first started coaching, we didn’t even have weight-lifting. We had the kids do agility drills – push-ups, sit-ups. Now, if you don’t have a good weight room, you’re in trouble.”

While Miller may bemoan the technological advances of the game, he is no pushover when it comes to game-planning. He’s quick to share how his game plan worked to perfection in a recent playoff game.

“I’ve always been a coach who can make adjustments,” Miller said. “You have to be able to adjust to what the other team does. You can’t keep doing the same thing. Find a way to slow the other team down. Don’t think you can just show up with the same plan every week and win.”

Miller spent his entire 45-year coaching career at Noxubee County and Louisville, winning his first state championship in 2008 with the Tigers – a year after falling in the title game the season before. Miller left Noxubee County in 2010 for the Louisville position, which provided the Camille Street High graduate an opportunity to come home. In addition to the championship this season, he also won the 4A title in 2013 against D’Iberville.

“Everybody tells me I still have more time to coach,” Miller said. “I feel like that, but it wears on you a little bit. Keeping up with film study is the main thing. These young coaches watch so much film and study it with the kids. We used to send people to watch games and write a report, but I’ve had to keep up with what everybody else is doing.”

Miller’s larger impact on high school football in Mississippi is the continued growth of his coaching tree – one that has spawned other state championship-winning coaches such as Chris Jones currently at Starkville and Tyrone Shorter at Noxubee County.

“I always tell young coaches the main thing is to be dedicated,” Miller said. “You have to want to work and be consistent.”


The M.C. Miller Profile

Age: 69

Team: Louisville High (Miss.)

Career record: 282-109 in 45 seasons

State championships: Noxubee County (2008), Louisville (2013, 2018)

In his words: “To go out with a state championship was hard because I had to stay on top of it for 45 years. You have to do a lot more now than you did a long time ago.”