It's official — the Chris Miller era at West Linn is over.
Miller, 54, coached his last game as head coach of the West Linn football team on Friday, Nov. 22. And while the Lions didn't go out on top — they dropped a 42-35 decision to Central Catholic in the Class 6A state quarterfinals — Miller's six-year tenure at West Linn set a standard of excellence with the program that will be hard to match.
Miller, who grew up in Eugene and played football as a quarterback at Sheldon High School, and later, the University of Oregon, served as West Linn's head football coach starting in 2014 and ending Friday.
Miller also played 10 seasons in the National Football League, seven of those with the Atlanta Falcons, two with the Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams and one with the Denver Broncos. He announced back in June that the 2019 season would be his last with West Linn after he agreed to become the offensive coordinator for the Houston Roughnecks of the newly-reformed XFL.
At the time of his announcement, Miller explained that he was ready to explore new coaching options that were available to him following completion of his college degree and that the opportunity with Houston would also allow him to better provide for his family financially.
Regardless of who follows in Miller's footsteps as West Linn's head coach, Miller will be a hard act to follow.
While the Lions won the Three Rivers League just once in Miller's six seasons, they were uniformly excellent in that span, compiling a 29-9 record in TRL and Special District 5 play (a 76% winning percentage).
Further, West Linn went 60-16 overall under Miller (a 79% winning percentage) and reached at least the Class 6A state quarterfinals every year. The Lions also advanced to the state semifinals and championship in both the 2015 and 2016 seasons, winning the only football state championship in school history under Miller's leadership in 2016.
The '16 Lions followed the lead of record-setting quarterback Tim Tawa to a perfect 7-0 mark in league, a perfect 14-0 mark for the season and the largest margin of victory in an Oregon big-school state championship game by routing Central Catholic 62-7 at Providence Park.
In total, Miller's six teams put together a combined playoff record of 17-5, good for a winning percentage of 77%.
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