Georgia State head coach Trent Miles was the running backs coach at Washington for three years, missing the implosion of the program by a year when he left for his first head-coaching opportunity at his alma mater, Indiana State.
He returns to UW this weekend with his Panthers (1-2) a 35-point underdog against the Huskies (3-0). Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. at Husky Stadium for a Pac-12 Networks broadcast.
“I’ve got great memories of the University of Washington,” Miles said in a conference call this week. “Obviously, I wish we’d won more games while I was there, but I had a chance to get Louis Rankin (who) turned in the first 1,000-yard rusher at the University of Washington in years my last year there.”
Miles said two of his daughters were born at UW Medical Center during his stint from 2005-07 with the Huskies on Tyrone Willingham’s staff.
“My wife has quoted it as being the best place we’ve ever lived, up until now,” Miles said. “It’s a special place for us.”
Four other coaches on Georgia State’s staff have ties to the Huskies: Tim Lappano, the Panthers’ receivers coach, was UW’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 2005-08; J.D. Williams, now the Panthers’ secondary coach/special teams coordinator, was the UW defensive backs coach from 2006-08; Luke Huard, younger brother of Damon and Brock and a UW graduate assistant in 2007-08, is Georgia State’s quarterbacks coach and play-caller; and former UW quarterback Ronnie Fouch, now in his second season as GSU graduate assistant.
The return to Seattle, Miles said, “is going to invoke different things for different guys, to be honest. I wasn’t there when they fired Ty; I had left the year before to be the head coach at Indiana State, so it might be a little bit different feeling for the guys who had been there when that happened. Everyone is still pretty excited about being there. They love Seattle and the University of Washington.”
Indiana State was 0-12 in Miles’ first season as the head coach there in 2008. By 2012, he led Indiana State to a 7-4 record, earning regional coach of the year honors. He left to lead Georgia State — which introduced football in 2010 — in its transition as a FBS program last season.
The Panthers were 0-12 last year in their first season in the Sun Belt Conference, but they won their opener this season against Abilene Christian, 38-37.
Miles said he’s only seen pictures of new Husky Stadium.
“I’m excited to get there and see it and experience it,” he said, “because it’s got to be one of the best there is in the nation.”