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Retired Marine Jan Miller is determend to change the culture of West Ranch football

Posted: August 9, 2013 9:41 p.m.
Updated: August 9, 2013 9:41 p.m.

First year varsity head coach Jan Miller is trying to change the culture of West Ranch football with an emphasis on discipline and intensity on the field.

 

The administration at West Ranch High School may have stayed in house when selecting former JV and freshman football coach Jan Miller as the new head coach of the varsity team, but in doing so, the Wildcats have made a big change to the culture of their program.

A retired battalion sergeant major in the Marine Corps and current tactics officer for the Los Angeles Police Department, Miller brings an aggressive, hard-nosed style of leadership that he has fostered throughout his military career to the football field as a coach.

“I am an approachable disciplinarian.” Miller said. “My kids will come up to me and ask me anything, but they understand that I am a disciplinarian at the same time.”

As would be expected from a football program headed by a Marine, the 2013 version of the Wildcats have put an emphasis on discipline and intensity on the field. Miller has made it abundantly clear that nothing less than 100 percent commitment on the field will be acceptable and it seems, so far, that the West Ranch players have enthusiastically responded to this teaching style.

“People want to be at practice this year,” said former West Ranch quarterback and current quarterbacks coach Garrit Mouw. “You have to give it your all every day and everyone is so excited to be on the field. The whole mentality has changed.”

Though new to the varsity head coaching ranks, Miller has a history coaching at West Ranch, with experience as the head coach at both the JV and freshman levels over the last seven years. Last season, the JV team led by Miller fished 8-2.

“We just get to build on what we did last year,” said quarterback Chase Killingsworth, who started for Miller on JV last season. “Everyone’s had him coming up through the years, so we all know what to expect.” Now, with his attitude and dedication fully permeated throughout the program, Miller and the Wildcats have turned their sights on improving last years 2-8 record and making the CIF playoffs.

“Our goal this year is to make the playoffs,” said Miller when asked about the teams goals for the season. “If we do that in first place or third place or if we get a wild card, we’ll take it.”

It is going to take more than a culture change to take a West Ranch program that only has one playoff appearance in its eight-year history, back to the postseason, but a renewed sense of enthusiasm could get the Miller regime off on the right foot.

 

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