LARAMIE – University of Wyoming offensive line coach/run-game coordinator Bart Miller has been named the offensive line coach at the University of Illinois, the school announced in a news release Tuesday morning.
Miller, who served as Wyoming’s offensive line coach the past two seasons, previously worked under first-year Illinois head coach Bret Bielema when Bielema was the head coach at Wisconsin.
“You really can’t ever plan these things,” Miller, whose parents live outside Chicago, told WyoSports. “It was a chance to be with a guy I’ve worked with before, in the Big Ten Conference, two hours away from my parents in the state I recruit … (I) felt I couldn’t pass that opportunity up.”
Miller helped pave the way for one of the most prolific rushing offenses in college football each of his two seasons in Laramie. The Cowboys ranked 23rd and 15th nationally in rushing yards per game in 2019 and 2020, respectively. He was given the additional title of run-game coordinator prior to the 2020 season.
“(Miller) was able to show early in his career how effective he is as a teacher and motivator of young men,” Bielema said in a statement. “As a young coach, I hired him as an offensive line coach, and he helped us capture our third consecutive Big Ten title. Bart has Midwest roots and will help us recruit and keep Illinois players at home wearing the orange and blue. We are very excited to have Bart join our Illini family.”
Under Miller’s tutelage, center Keegan Cryder was named first team All-Mountain West in 2020 and guard Logan Harris earned honorable mentioned accolades. The UW offensive line was named to the Joe Moore Award Midseason Honor Roll last season, an award given to the best offensive line in college football.
After one season each as a graduate assistant at New Mexico State and Wisconsin, Miller, who played collegiately at New Mexico, served as Wisconsin’s offensive line coach in 2012. That season, running back Montee Ball was an All-American after running for 1,830 yards and 22 touchdowns due in large part to an offensive line that was among the best in the nation. Miller coached Dallas Cowboys All-Pro center Travis Frederick and Green Bay Packers tackle Rick Wagner.
Miller also served as the offensive line coach at New Mexico State (2013), Florida Atlantic (2014 and 2015), Minnesota (2016) and Ohio (2018). He was Air Force’s tight ends coach in 2017.
“What made it so hard was how much I really liked Wyoming and the offensive line,” Miller said. “I love those guys, and they worked their tails off for me. I wanted to be there and finish what we started in that room. I wanted to help some of them make the next level.
“I enjoyed working for Coach Bohl and I loved the state. I was genuinely happy there, and I wanted to be somewhere for a while. But this was something I couldn’t pass up. This was a destination for me.”