Retired Gainesville High football coach Bruce Miller has found a spot on the staff at Flowery Branch High.
The former Red Elephants coach, who won 225 games and nine region championships in 30 years as a head coach, will serve as quarterbacks coach with the Falcons. Miller spent the 2018 season as an assistant coach at Lakeview Academy.
Miller, who guided Gainesville High to a Class 5A state championship in 2012, had prolific signal callers, including former Alabama quarterback Blake Sims in charge of the Red Elephants’ offense (2008-09) and Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson at the same position the following four seasons.
“I’m excited about having the opportunity to work with Bruce,” Flowery Branch coach Ben Hall said. “We’ve known each other for a long time, and feel like overall it’s going to be good for our program.”
At Flowery Branch, quarterback Elijah Gainey will be back in 2019, after throwing for 1,770 yards and 18 touchdowns in the regular season as a junior.
Hall was tight ends coach at Furman University in the early 2000s when he first met Miller. Miller’s stepson Andrew Thacker, who is now defensive coordinator at Georgia Tech, was a starting defensive back for the Paladins during the same years.
Hall came to learn of Miller’s proven track record with the quarterbacks who had gone on to achieve success at higher ranks, capped off by Watson, a two-time Heisman finalist and first-round pick by the Houston Texans in the 2017 NFL Draft.
“He has a long history of coaching that position, so it’s a fit,” Hall said. “Bruce, he does a great job, he has a great reputation and loves working with our kids. He’s excited about joining our program.”
In 2018, Gainey quarterbacked the Falcons into the Class 4A state playoffs, where they lost in the first round to Ridgeland.
The bulk of Miller’s legacy stems from leading Gainesville to a 16-year span of dominance, including seven consecutive seasons with at least 10 wins and a trip to the playoffs each year. In his first year at the helm, Miller’s 2002 team went 13-1 with a state semifinals berth.
At Gainesville, Miller finished with a 157-46 mark.