Early life and career
Miller was born and raised in Macomb, Illinois and attended Macomb Public Schools and Western Illinois University, where he was later a star player and coach for the Leathernecks football team. He began his coaching career at high schools in Astoria and Canton, Illinois, and at Carthage College.
Miller was an assistant coach with Lou Saban at Western Illinois in the late 1950s before joining Saban with the AFL's Boston Patriots in 1960. He also was an assistant with Buffalo (1962), Denver (1963–65), St. Louis (1966–70), Baltimore (1971–72) and New England (1973–76) before rejoining the Broncos as head coach.
- 1960–1961 Boston Patriots (OL)
- 1962 Buffalo Bills (OL)
- 1963–1965 Denver Broncos (OL)
- 1966–1970 St. Louis Cardinals (OL)
- 1971–1972 Baltimore Colts (DL)
- 1973–1976 New England Patriots (OL)
Orange Crush coaching years (1977–1980)
Miller was named head coach of the Denver Broncos on January 31, 1977, replacing John Ralston. Miller took a team led by linebackers Randy Gradishar, Bob Swenson, and Tom Jackson, cornerbacks Louis Wright and Bernard Jackson, safety Billy Thompson, and defensive end Lyle Alzado— mainstays of the Orange Crush Defense— and veteran quarterback Craig Morton (acquired via trade with the New York Giants) to a 12–2 regular season record and an AFC championship.
The Broncos then faced the Tom Landry-coached Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl XII but lost, 27–10. Denver's 1977 season is chronicled in Terry Frei's 2008 book, '77: Denver, the Broncos and a Coming of Age.
The Broncos also would lose in an NFL AFC Divisional Playoff match against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Three Rivers Stadium on December 30, 1978, 33–10. They would also lose the next season to the Houston Oilers 13–7 in a classic NFL Wild Card Playoff match played in the Astrodome on December 23, 1979.
After posting an 8–8 record in 1980, and failing to return to the AFC playoffs, Miller was fired by new owner Edgar Kaiser in the spring of 1981 and replaced with then Dallas Cowboy assistant and former NFL running back Dan Reeves.
Denver Gold (USFL)
- Dick Kreck (2008-01-13). "Broncos' magic season comes alive in memories of its magnetic players". The Denver Post. Retrieved 2010-03-01.
- Tim Lynch (2009-01-30). "MHR Bronco's History Lesson; Know Your Coaches". milehighreport.com. Retrieved 2010-03-01.
- '59 Football Team Coaches Named Grand Marshals of WIU Homecoming Parade Red Miller
- '77: Denver, the Broncos, and a Coming of Age Journalist Terry Frei article about the '77 Denver Broncos and Head Coach Red Miller