|Wisconsin Lutheran athletics file photo|
Dennis Miller, the first head coach of the Wisconsin Lutheran football program who held the position for 13 seasons, will be returning to lead the team following one season away from the sidelines. Miller stepped down after a program-record 7-3 season in 2012, and will fill the post that recently was opened after first-year head coach Ben Murphy changed roles within the program due to family obligations.
In order to focus solely on the football program, Miller will relinquish his role in the college's administration as vice president of student affairs, a position he has held since 2005.
"I am thrilled with the blessing of returning to the Warriors football field," said Miller. "With a renewed single focus on Warriors football, my enthusiasm and passion for this ministry has never been higher. I believe Warriors football has a bright future and I look forward to being a part of it again."
The Warriors went 7-3 in Miller's last season in 2012, including 5-2 for third place in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference. The seven wins were the most in program history, while the five conference victories tied a school record. WLC's two conference defeats were by a combined 15 points. Wisconsin Lutheran boasted the top pass defense in NCAA Division III and finished in the top seven in three other statistical categories: total defense (fourth), pass efficiency defense (fifth), and scoring defense (seventh).
Twenty-eight of Miller's 48 victories at WLC have come since 2008, including four straight .500-plus seasons. During Miller's last five seasons as head coach, the Warriors finished 21-14 in conference games, including consecutive third-place finishes in the eight-team league. WLC won a program-record six straight games which spanned from 2011 into the 2012 season.
Through 11 seasons of conference competition, Miller mentored 99 players who received all-conference recognition, including 30 first team selections and the Warriors' first conference player of the year in defensive lineman Kaylan Gaines in 2010.
Before arriving at Wisconsin Lutheran, Miller spent 12 seasons as head coach at NCAA Division II Northern State in Aberdeen, S.D. During his time at Northern State, Miller's football teams won 47 NSIC games - more than any other school. His program was nationally ranked six times and qualified for the national playoffs in 1988. During his 25 years of coaching, Miller amassed a 125-136 record.