Henry Miller left the Arkansas-Pine Bluff football coaching staff in the middle of the 2008 season before the Golden Lions could win a game. He did it because he and his wife had a more serious battle on their hands.
Today, Kennedra Miller is fully recovered from severe cancer and her husband is back on the staff as the secondary coach.
Head coach Monte Coleman on Wednesday announced the hiring of Henry Miller, 47, less than a month after Marty Biagi left UAPB to take an assistant coaching position at Southern, where Miller also coached. The move comes as the UAPB staff awaits the players’ arrival to campus Friday for the start of preseason camp Saturday.
“I am very relieved,” Coleman said of hiring Biagi’s successor. “It’s a very important time. The thing I didn’t want to do was go into the season without a coach. It would’ve been a distraction to the players.”
This is Miller’s first coaching job since leaving in 2008, Coleman’s first season as head coach when UAPB started 0-7 and finished 3-9. He had been with the Golden Lions since the 2006 season, when they played in the SWAC championship game under coach Mo Forte.
“I felt like I ran out on my team,” Miller said. “It just bothered me. Even though they won, I didn’t win.
“I look at (this hiring) as redemption. The Lord gave me a chance to redeem myself.”
Miller takes over a talented secondary that includes junior Ryan Shaw, who made the watch list of the College Football Performance Award for Football Championship Subdivision defensive backs, and senior Jarvis Webb, who picked off three passes and recorded 52 tackles last season. The Lions, who went 6-5 in 2011, were second in the SWAC in interceptions with 18, but their average of 200.5 passing yards allowed ranked them sixth of 10 teams in the conference.
“Just watching film on them, I see they’re talented,” Miller said. “We want to be a smart, physical secondary.”
Miller also coached at Utah State for three years and Southern for six before he first joined UAPB. He was a part of two SWAC championship teams at Southern.