WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. – West Liberty University head football coach Roger Waialae has announced the hiring of former West Virginia University standout Julian Miller as the Hilltoppers’ new defensive line coach. Miller fills the void created earlier this spring when WLU assistant Brian Hill accepted an offer to return to his collegiate alma mater as a defensive coordinator.
“I’m really excited to bring Julian into our program,” Waialae said. “He has played and coached at a very high level and we’re really looking forward to seeing him get a chance to start working with our players. One of the biggest plusses is that Julian is also an extremely gifted recruiter. Central Ohio has been very good for us in the past and we think he can get us back in there competing for some of the top talent from that area.”
Miller brings an impressive resume to the Hilltopper sidelines. An All-Big East defensive end who racked up nearly 200 tackles with the Mountaineers from 2007-11, Miller ranks No. 2 all-time at WVU in quarterback sacks (27.5) and tackles-for-loss (42.5). He set the school single-game sacks record (4.0) during a 21-20 win against Pitt on Nov. 26, 2011.
“I’m very appreciative to Coach Waialae for this opportunity to grow my coaching career,” Miller said. “I really enjoy the competition, building relationships with the players and seeing them mature and develop as individuals and as athletes. I’m also looking forward to helping out on the recruiting trail. The facilities here at West Liberty are outstanding and the people have been great. I can’t wait to get started.”
After graduating from WVU, Miller signed as an undrafted free agent with the Cincinnati Bengals and participated in their preseason camp. Miller spent one season with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League and two years in the Arena Football League with the Utah Blaze and Cleveland Gladiators before hanging up his cleats.
Miller began his coaching career with a three-year stint at West Port High School in Ocala, Fla. before returning to Morgantown in 2018 as a defensive graduate assistant at WVU. Working primarily with the Mountaineers’ defensive line over the past three seasons, Miller played a key role in the development of consensus NCAA All-American Darius Stills, former Freshman All-American Dante Stills and 2020 Freshman All-American Akheem Mesidor. He coached spring ball at Concord this year before making the move to WLU.
A former All-Ohio standout at Columbus (Ohio) Beechcroft High School, Miller is a 2011 graduate of West Virginia University (Multidisciplinary Studies) who went on to earn master’s degrees in Sports Management and Communications at WVU. He and his wife, Alexis, are expecting their first child in November.
Miller and the rest of the WLU coaching staff are currently preparing for the start of preseason drills in August. West Liberty opens the 2021 fall season at home on Sept. 2 with a non-conference game against Walsh (Ohio).