Collierville’s Miller named head football coach at Arlington High

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Former Collierville High School assistant football coach Tommy Miller has accepted a job as the new head coach for Arlington High School.

 Arlington Principal Chris Duncan announced the hiring on Tuesday. Miller, who quarterbacked for Arkansas State University from 1998-2002, will begin his coaching duties in January 2022. 

“I worked with Coach Miller back when I was head coaching the Bolton baseball team, and during that time, I really learned and saw what he stands for,” Duncan said. “He’s very community-minded and has always been a positive role model who is about uplifting athletes and helping them realize their potential. He also knows the game in and out and even experienced it at a high level himself. 

“He’s been on the offensive and defensive side of coaching, and I think that’s made him a better all-around head coach,” he added. 

Growing up the son of a football coach, Miller said that he can’t remember a time football wasn’t in his life. His early years playing the game built a “foundation that ultimately chartered a path that centered around the gridiron.

“In college, he started two seasons at quarterback for ASU and later played arena football for the Lubbock LoneStars of the Intense Football League and the Tupelo Fireants of the United Indoor Football League.However, due to multiple injuries to his ACL and shoulders, his professional football career was eventually sidelined.

“The Lord was trying to tell me I wasn’t supposed to be playing anymore,” he said. “It took two ACL reconstructions, multiple shoulder injuries and a dislocated thumb for me to listen, but I finally took the hint. For me, I’ve just always loved the game of football – everything that goes into it, including the offseason. The game has been such a positive experience in my life.”

Although professional play was out of the question for him, Miller turned to coaching in 2005 when he took on his first assistant coach role at Bolton High School, a position he held until 2011 when he was promoted to the top gig of Bolton’s head coach. 

During his time at Bolton, Miller was named the District 14-AAA Coach of the Year and the Shelby Metro Sports “Tommy Harrison” Coach of the Year. In 2014, Miller transitioned to Collierville High School as an assistant football coach where he has been since and is coming off an impressive 11-1 record for the 2021 season.

Miller, who will also teach wellness classes, said Arlington is a place he and his wife have “long admired and are excited to join the community.”

“Arlington schools, in my opinion, is no doubt in the top three public schools in the Memphis area, and the community is fantastic,” he noted. “I have four young kids coming up, and it’s just one of those places you want your kids going to school. I wanted somewhere I could lay down roots and become engrained in the community.

“I’m blessed, fortunate and just grateful for this opportunity,” he continued. “Football is one of those sports that can reveal a person’s character but also make them a better person. I’m ready to meet the coaches, meet the players and help build our players into better athletes and individuals.”

PHOTO BY ROGER COTTON