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Ohio's New Coach In the Trenches Bart Miller

Ohio's New Coach In the Trenches Bart Miller

By Pete Nakos
OhioBobcats.com Feature Writer

ATHENS — Bart Miller had always heard about Frank Solich, but he'd never met him. Growing up in, Omaha, Nebraska, Miller idolized the Cornhuskers as a kid and remembers the legend that is Solich.

So when the coach came calling, looking to fill the offensive line position on his staff, Miller jumped at the opportunity to learn from the coach he once idolized.

"This is something I've just kind of watched from afar for a long time," Miller said. "I followed coach Solich and his program a lot growing up in Nebraska, and knowing what this program has been built on: The physicality, how they like to run the football and that the o-line is in good shape." 

"This was a job that I sought after, was very pleased when I had the opportunity to pursue it. This is a place I wanted to be."

During his time as the tight ends coach at the Air Force Academy, Miller quickly learned the value of hard work. It's one of the values that he's hoping to implement in the offensive line he's taken over this spring.

Miller won't have to teach much discipline because he's got a lot to work with. When Dave Johnson left for Colorado State, he was coming off one of the most successful offensive years in program history and left the Bobcats with one of the most talented front lines in the Mid-American Conference. 

Miller will only have to fill one role on the line — center. Ohio loses Jake Pruehs to graduation, a three-year starter and the leader of the offensive line in 2017.

Still, with second-team All-MAC winners Joe Lowery and Joe Anderson returning, Miller will have a lot to look forward to.

"I'll tell you what, our guys are awesome," he said. "They work hard and are very talented. We're doing a few things technique-wise that are different then we have in the past, so just trying to get that fixed, and just keep getting better and better each day. If we can continue to develop and play the way I think we can, we'll be good."

Miller has been to his fair share coaching stops on his way to Ohio, and at each one he's won and improved the group that he's worked with.

At Wisconsin, he turned around an offensive line that ranked 103rd in rushing when he was put in charge of the group mid-season. At the end of the season, the Badgers ranked 12th in the nation in rushing.

At Florida Atlantic, sacks were a regular occurrence with upwards of 30 a year. By the time he left four seasons later, opponents only reached the quarterback 21 times in 869 tries.

Now in Athens, he understands the goals that Solich and his staff want to meet. They want to keep the quarterback safe, they want to run the football down the throat of an opponent's defense and most importantly they want to win the school's first MAC Championship since 1968. 

Miller is all aboard on the mission just a few months into the job.

"The town of Athens is great, the people are great. Got settled, got a nice house. We're enjoying it."

Pete Nakos is a Writer for Ohio Athletics. Have any questions? Email him at pn997515@ohio.edu or follow him on Twitter @Pete_Nakos96.