Les Miles has resigned himself to this: He won’t be a head football coach next season.
But he’s not giving up on the profession just yet.
“For me not to be able to step to the field and show a young man, ‘This is how we do it’ … to move on from there, I can’t imagine (at) this point,” Miles said. “Maybe at another time — maybe. Not at this time. I’m a coach.”
Miles returned to LSU on Friday morning as junior safety Jamal Adams announced his early departure to the NFL. Adams invited Miles to the news conference on the fifth floor of LSU’s administration building.
Beforehand, Miles met privately with Adams, his family and Ed Orgeron, the man who replaced Miles and the man he hired in 2015 to be his defensive line coach.
“Coach Miles,” Orgeron said, starting the news conference, “great to see you. We love you to death.”
Miles met with reporters for more than 10 minutes after the news conference, his first large gathering with the media since his firing Sept. 25.
During the interview session, Miles stood near a door that leads into a hallway on the fifth floor of LSU’s administration building. In the hallway was athletic director Joe Alleva, the man who fired Miles four games into his 12th season with the program.
Miles shrugged off questions about his return to campus less than three months after his firing.
“I enjoy the people in this building,” he said. “And … every time I go by a door, (I see) somebody I’m pleased to see and embrace. I had a great time.”
The 63-year-old has spent the past six weeks traveling the nation interviewing for head coaching jobs. His most recent and likely last interview this offseason came just about “48 hours” ago, he said. Multiple outlets reported that Miles interviewed at Minnesota on Thursday.
The Gophers hired P.J. Fleck away from Western Michigan on Friday, another miss for Miles in the job hunt. He was linked to jobs at Purdue, South Florida and Houston as well.
“The experience you had in 17 years (of head coaching) … you can’t put it in a two-hour interview, and it’s impossible to try,” Miles said. “What you do is you do the best you can to display the great number of experiences you had. And you want to see how they respond. It’s important that it’s a great fit. If they don’t want an experienced coach and a guy that’s been through a number of situations, I understand, and I’m for them."
Les Miles isn't giving up yet.
So what now? Miles will be in Tampa, Florida, on Monday for the College Football Playoff championship game, and he is scheduled to make several media stops. He’ll be on ESPN’s morning radio show "Mike & Mike" and the network’s "First Take" television show Monday.
He’s not ready to give up on coaching and join the media full-time, and he playfully gave an example of his lack of interviewing skills. Miles grabbed a reporter’s iPhone, being used as a recorder, and placed it in front of another reporter’s mouth, feigning an interview.
“I don’t know,” he said. “Does this look good?”
In the future, Miles isn’t limiting himself to certain jobs. He’s open to joining a smaller program in the "Group of Five" schools, he said, and he stressed that he hopes to be at his next school for the long haul.
“There are a number of great jobs out there, and I’m not limiting myself,” he said. “But I do want the opportunity to build and stay there some time. And I want to win championships. It’s pretty simple."
“(Coaching is) something I want to do,” he said later. “You want an athletic director and president that want you. If they don’t want you, you’re good. OK? The good news is, I’ve seen some great places and know more what to look for.”
Reportedly passed over yet again for another collegiate football coaching job, Les Miles tal…
As for Monday's national championship game, Miles isn’t rooting for Clemson or Alabama; he just wants to see a “great game.”
Miles lost his last five meetings against the Crimson Tide and coach Nick Saban. During his tenure at LSU, he made no secret about his distaste for the color red. Alabama and Ohio State, the archrival of his alma mater, Michigan, share that color.
He has changed that stance — sort of.
“I have to tell you, I have most recently worn a red tie. I have a rash underneath here,” he said pointing to his chest, where a tie would be, “that I’m learning how to handle.”
Of all the plays Jamal Adams could have chosen as his best in three years at LSU, he chose a…