Stop fighting it, Les: Miles has the makings of a media superstar
BATON ROUGE, La. — Les Miles wants to coach, because that’s what coaches always want to do.
“I’m a coach,” Miles insisted Friday as he spoke to local media members for the first time since his postgame press conference following the Auburn loss that ended his LSU career the next day. “I have so much experience with the things that I’ve done that it’s hard for me to put that behind me.”
But despite his insistence that he still belongs on a sideline, Miles’ interaction with the media after Jamal Adams’ press conference to declare for the NFL draft only further proved that The Mad Hatter’s most promising future is behind a microphone. The assembled media came to see Adams speak, but we stayed for Les.
Miles is the one clear heir apparent to Lee Corso as the lovable, quirky old coach who steals the show on ESPN’s college football anchor program, College GameDay.
As with most of Miles’ public interactions, Friday’s devolved into a piece of unintentional performance art.
When asked about his interest in doing TV work next season, Miles grabbed a reporter’s recorder, then unknowingly held it upside down for unintended comedic effect while mimicking an interview with a different reporter.
“Does this look good?” Miles asked sheepishly.
It didn’t just look good. It looked like solid gold.
Corso is a national treasure, but he’s 81 years old and the rigors of traveling to a new city and doing a 3-hour show each week cannot be easy. As much as we collectively want Corso’s contributions to the program to last forever, ESPN certainly knows it has to plan for the future.
Few people in college football can match Corso’s charisma. Steve Spurrier, 71, is one of them, but getting the Old Ball Coach off the golf course might be easier said than done.
That leaves the 63-year-old Miles. If ever there were a kindred spirit to a coach who once called timeout during the first half of an Indiana-Ohio State game so a team picture could be taken proving the Hoosiers held the lead at one point, it is Miles.
Miles would be able to stay in Baton Rouge and live the family life he has largely missed out on while coaching the Tigers. He admitted that part of the equation has been by far the biggest blessing in losing his job.
Instead of donning a mascot head like Corso, Miles could add his own flair by putting on an ill-fitting ballcap of the team he picks in the marquee game each week.
Who would say no?
“I think there would be a challenge there. It would be something I would enjoy, being close to the game,” Miles said of the general prospect of broadcasting work. “But I’m a coach. … I know how to do that. I don’t know how to do this.”
Au contraire, Les. Just being yourself is the only skill needed to become a superstar in a new endeavor.