GAINESVILLE — Bruce Miller said he still had the coaching itch when he stepped down from Gainesville football two weeks ago. On Wednesday he announced he will be scratching that itch with Lakeview Academy,
Miller, who led the Red Elephants to 157 wins, the 2012 Class AAAAA state championship, four other state semifinals and nine region titles in 16 seasons in charge, will join the Lions as an assistant. Lakeview head coach Matthew Gruhn, a former Gainesville football standout in the 1980s, contacted Miller almost immediately after his retirement. (EDITOR'S NOTE: Watch an in-depth video with future Hall of Fame coach Miller here.)
"They took something I said when I stepped down that I thought I wanted to coach again but wasn't totally sure," Miller said. "Matthew and John Simpson called me and asked me if I was interested in a position on their staff. They just kind of made me an offer I couldn't turn down."
Lakeview Academy Head of School John Kennedy said hiring a coach of Miller's background and reputation was a big step for a relatively young Lions football program that has played just 11 seasons of varsity football and is yet to clinch a state playoff berth.
"Obviously (Coach Miller) has been succesful, and he's a man of high integrity," Kennedy said. "Coach Miller said he wanted to work with our program and make it the best it can be. We're excited to have him."
There are plenty of ties for Miller to the Lions staff. Simpson worked under Miller in the Gainesville program during his first three seasons with the Red Elephants, running the ninth-grade and middle school programs.
"John and I go way back, and I'm friends with Matthew so this was really something that is very comfortable for me," Miller said. "I'm really looking forward to this and trying to get things going for the program."
Miller will assume the title of assistant head coach and help with the offense. He will join the program for the start of spring practice.
Gainesville has yet to fill its head football coaching position.