Ken Miller is too modest of a man and is too good of a man to say he deserves to be the CFL coach of the year. However, I have no problem in endorsing Miller as the CFL’s best because he is. In fact, if you ask me, he should be a repeat winner. In fact, if you want to know the truth, I think Ken Miller did a better job of coaching this football team in 2008 than he did last year when the team came one agonizing play from being Grey Cup champs.
What Miller did in 2009 in guiding his team to a first place finish and a berth in the title game with a quarterback who went into the start of the season as an unknown is a major accomplishment and one that shouldn’t be discounted, but what he did in 2008 was amazing.
Consider that Miller came into the position after a championship season. He inherited the role from Kent Austin and had the task of trying to repeat without the likes of MVP quarterback Kerry Joseph, defensive leader Fred Perry and Reggie Hunt. Without Austin and Joseph, no one gave the Riders a chance at even coming close to repeating. All Miller did was go out and win his first six games. As the wins piled up, so did the injuries. How Miller managed to rally the troops and week after week put out a competitive football team that gave it their all in victory or defeat was truly a thing of amazement to watch. With all respect to Kent Austin, I don’t know if his team could have succeeded had he been dealt the hand Miller was given. In fact, there aren’t many teams out there that could have had the results the 2008 Riders had no matter who their coach is. That is why he should have been named the league’s best after that season. With questions surrounding the football club going into 2009, and many once again predicting tough times for the green and white, Miller got the job done again with the results coming oh-so-close to a title.
The bottom line here is Ken Miller is more than a head coach. While quiet and reserved on the sidelines, he is definitely not that behind closed doors. The players find him to be a coach, along with a father figure and a mentor. He is someone they look up to, he is someone they admire and he is someone that players will go through a wall for to get the job done.
The CFL coach of the year in the past goes to the team that wins the Grey Cup. That would put Marc Trestman as the favourite. Compare what Trestman did and then compare it to what Miller did and there is no comparison. If Ken Miller isn’t named the 2009 coach of the year, then he will have been robbed twice.