Tarleton Football adds former Texan from Mississippi State, Mason Miller, to be Offensive Coordinator


STEPHENVILLE – Tarleton Football has added a familiar face to the coaching staff who has spent the last few years coaching in the SEC. Mason Miller has been hired to be the Texans’ Offensive Coordinator entering 2023, the team announced Tuesday.

Miller arrives back in Stephenville where he coached for three seasons from 2014-16. He was the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach all three years, serving under head coach Todd Whitten in 2016. He was most recently at Mississippi State the last three seasons as the offensive line coach, adding the title of Run Game Coordinator for the Bulldogs last year.

“I think so much of Mason Miller, he’s a first-class person who I’ve worked with in the past,” Whitten said. “Our players really enjoyed his coaching style, and he has a knack for coaching, teaching and working with young men. He’s a really smart, creative football coach. He’s been with some of the best football minds out there, with Mike Leach and Hal Mumme and guys like that. He’ll be good for our program and he’ll be good for our players.”

Miller joined the late Mike Leach’s staff upon his arrival to Mississippi State in 2020. Over his final two years with the Bulldogs, Miller’s offensive line ranked No. 2 in the SEC and No. 15 in the FBS in offensive line efficiency.

At Tarleton, Miller led his side to third nationally in total offense in 2014, averaging 522.8 yards per game, scoring 43.7 points per game. Exceptional offense continued in 2015, as the Texans averaged 38.1 points and 451.2 yards per contest.

“Our family is very excited about returning to Stephenville where we spent three wonderful years with friends and family,” Miller said. “We are grateful for our time at Nevada, Washington State, as well as Mississippi State. However, we are glad to be home.

“Megan and I are so grateful to Dr. Hurley, Lonn Reisman, and especially Coach Whitten for bringing us back,” Miller added. “It has been a very welcoming experience. This has always been a special place for us.”

Miller will inherit a successful offense from a season ago, a Texan group that led the WAC in yards per game (436.7) and rush yards per game (174.6), finishing second in scoring average (31.0 PPG). Tarleton is also set to return their 1,000-yard running back Derrel Kelley III, their 1,000-yard wide receiver Darius Cooper, and their 800-yard wide receiver Jaden Smith.

Whitten, who engineered that offense, will hand over play calling duties for the first time in his Tarleton tenure, in what will be his 14th season at the helm in Stephenville.

“I think it’s time to turn this over to somebody else, and Mason Miller, to me, is the perfect guy to do that,” Whitten said. “I’m going to step away from being the offensive coordinator and being the play caller. It will be the first time that I’ve ever done this, so it will be an adjustment for me, but I think it’s the best thing for our team and best thing for our offense. I just think it’s the right time, and I’ll be able to better serve as ‘the CEO’ of the program.

“I think often times that change is very good,” Whitten added. “I think Coach Miller will bring some fresh, new ideas, a little bit of a new approach. Our core values are not going to change. We’re going to make a real commitment always to running the ball, being balanced, being explosive and taking shots. These are all things that Coach Miller and I’ve done together before. We are really on the same page in regards to how we want to look and how we want to go and play offense. For me, he was just the perfect guy to sort of replace myself with, and I just have a lot of faith. I believe he’s just about as good as anybody in the country.”

Miller began his full-time collegiate coaching career in 2000, and has since been a part of eight collegiate programs across 21 seasons. In-between his Mississippi State (2020-22) and Tarleton (2014-16) tenures, he was the offensive line coach at Washington State (2018-19) and Nevada (2017).

Before joining the purple and white in 2014, Miller was head coach at McMurry in 2013, after spending four seasons (2009-12) there as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach. At New Mexico State (2005-08), he was associate head coach and offensive line coach, shortly after a two-year stint at Southeastern Louisiana (2003-04), the first year leading the running backs and the second year the offensive line. He also coached the wide receivers and tight ends for a year at Washington and Lee in 2000.

Miller picked up the headset for the first time as a student coach at Valdosta State following a two-year playing career there. He graduated from Valdosta State in 1997 and took a job at Valwood High School in 1998 where, as the offensive coordinator, he helped turn around a team that went 1-19 in the previous two seasons. With Miller leading the offense, Valwood High School earned a playoff berth in 1998 and a state championship in 1999. Miller’s offense was the state of Georgia’s top-ranked offense in 1999. 

All-in-all, Miller has guided different offenses to among the best in the nation at every level of NCAA football, including the best offense in the nation at Southeastern Louisiana (2004). He’s also helped produce top-five offenses nationally at Tarleton, New Mexico State and McMurry.

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