Former Texas State football coach dies at 74

Updated: February 21, 2006, 12:31 AM ET
Associated Press

SAN MARCOS, Texas -- Bill Miller, who served as Texas State athletic director for 17 years and remains the winningest football coach in school history, died Monday. He was 74.

Miller died in Austin of natural causes, school spokesman Ronald Mears said.

A former fullback for the Bobcats, Miller led Texas State's transition from a small NAIA school to a Division I program after becoming athletic director in 1975. Under his guidance, the Bobcats won consecutive Division II football championships and 31 conference titles.

Miller was named head coach in 1964 and compiled a record of 94-53-3 in 15 seasons, the school's second-longest tenure behind O.W. Strahan.

"For so many years, Billy Miller was the face of Bobcat athletics," Texas State athletic director Larry Teis said. "He was a wonderful man who played an enormous role in shaping what this university has become. I will miss him very much and I am honored to follow in his footsteps."

Miller, whose hirings included Texas A&M coach Dennis Franchione in 1990, retired in 1992.

In his letter of resignation, he wrote, "Special people make up this university. ... I am proud that I have been part of this fine university and I will always remain loyal."

Born in Goldthwaite in 1931, Miller served in the Navy during the Korean War. He arrived at Texas State, then known as Southwest Texas State College, in 1954 as a student and played under coach Milton Jowers.

He was hired as an assistant in 1961 and was promoted to head coach just seven years after graduating.

Survivors include his wife, LaRue, and two brothers, James and LeRoy.

Funeral services will be held Thursday at Texas State.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press