Few men in college sports are like Les Miles. The SEC will have to find a way to do without after Miles was fired on Sunday after 11-plus seasons with LSU.
During his lengthy career, Miles has given Tigers fans some incredible moments, on and off the field. Here are five of the best Les Miles moments of his tenure.
Not reading books
Miles is a smart coach but readily admitted he’s not one of the more well-read coaches in the SEC. He was asked about watching film early in his tenure and managed to convey his excitement about it.
“When I wake up in the morning and I turn that film on, it’s like reading a book,” Miles said. “It’s exciting.
“I don’t read books, but if I read books, it would be like reading a book!”
Never change, Les.
Perhaps the idiosyncrasy Miles was known best for was his penchant for eating grass – right off the stadium surface. Although it was known earlier in his career that he did this, it most notably happened during LSU’s game against Alabama in 2014.
“I have a little tradition that humbles me as a man, that lets me know that I’m a part of the field, a part of the game, and it’s the very bottom as well as the very top.”
“I tell you one thing. The grass at Tiger Stadium tastes best.”
Hopefully, Miles took some Tiger Stadium grass for the road.
Getting carried off the field
Miles nearly was fired at the end of last season but proved he still owned Louisiana. Everyone from fans to players to state politicians came out of the woodwork to save his job, even though the Tigers had a disappointing 8-3 regular season.
But in the final game at home against Texas A&M, Miles proved he was king. The Tigers wrapped up a 19-7 win against the Aggies, and the players gathered around him and hoisted Miles onto their shoulders. The Death Valley crowd gave him a standing ovation, thinking it could be his last game.
Ultimately, Miles got two more games at home (both wins), but his official home tenure ended with a 23-20 win against Mississippi State on Sept. 17.
Winning a national championship
Most of these moments have nothing to do with on-field success, but this has to be an obvious exception. The 2007 Tigers were inconsistent and lost 2 games, including a 50-48 shootout in triple overtime late in the year against Arkansas. However, a slew of losses in the final week of the season meant LSU got a shot at No. 1 Ohio State for the national championship.
The Buckeyes took an early 10-0 lead, but LSU quarterback Matt Flynn threw 3 touchdowns during a 31-0 onslaught to take control. This win was not only impressive for Miles’ coaching resume but also was a huge boost to a Louisiana community still reeling from Hurricane Katrina two years earlier.
You can watch the whole game here on YouTube:
Turning down the Michigan job – vehemently
Miles is a notable Michigan alumnus and played two seasons as an offensive lineman under legendary coach Bo Schembechler. When College Football Hall of Fame member Lloyd Carr retired in 2007, Miles was one of the main candidates mentioned for the job. He put those rumors to rest in a fiery news conference.
Just a month later, Miles led LSU to his first national championship and earned a place in the hearts of LSU fans forever.
What’s your favorite Les Miles moment? Let us know in the comments.