Longtime high school football coach Jason Miller now is the head coach of the Bellflower high school football team. Miller has led the Bellflower Buccaneers to a 6-1 overall record during this season.
Miller also has his brother Keith on the coaching staff at Bellflower. Along with being coaches, they were hired to be full-time teachers at the high school.
“It’s stuff that means a lot to us: helping kids get better at everything,” Miller said. “Parents want to see their kids grow up, they want to see them make a commitment.”
The Miller brothers want to build the best public school football team in the state and help youth gain life skills. Keith teaches physical education to Bellflower middle and high school students. Miller teaches emotionally disturbed special education.
Their goal is to not only coach the youth that attend Bellflower but to coach their own children and other family members. Miller noted how he and Keith “work better together.”
“I’ve always tried to bring Keith along with me or be able to coach together, just kind of as an older brother,” Miller said. “But it was very tough being that it’s usually just one on-campus job available. With Bellflower, it gave the opportunity for us both to work on campus.”
Both Miller brothers have a penchant for turning football programs around for the better. Keith helped revitalize the football program at Compton High School.
(THREAD) Scene: players were sagging pants, slouching and on their phones. We had to fix that real quick…
🗣PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO LISTEN TO OUR FIRST TEAM MEETING‼️ 1/4 pic.twitter.com/Jr3S0MPOg0
— Keith Miller (@coachkeith_1k) April 21, 2022
“Within a year, not only did we turnaround the football program, but the school was turned around,” Keith said. “If you have a good football season, you’re gonna have a good school year, the administration become supportive.”
Before coaching at Bellflower, Miller coached at the academically prestigious Gunn high school in Palo Alto.
“They had a reputation of suicide clusters and being only in academics,” Miller said. “Not just winning but affecting the football team’s culture. We were known for letting that spill over to Gunn high school.”
During his time at Gunn, Miller also taught a social justice class. The students began working to help their classmates and others in need.
“We took the regular classes and looked at them through a social justice perspective,” Miller said. “I volunteered into a whole movement.”
The students petitioned the principal for feminine products to be offered in restrooms, they also hosted voter registration drives and a rally in support of Ukraine. The football team attended Black Lives Matter rallies and wore Stop Asian Hate stickers on their helmets.
As Miller prepared to move from the Bay Area to Southern California, Keith ran practices with the team over the summer. A video of his opening remarks to the Buccaneers went viral.
“I gave an impassioned speech about how we were going to do things, how we were going to move forward, how we were going to win,” Keith said. “ Within a week, maybe two weeks, I was approached by the principal … and he said “I don’t know what you did, but the whole school was talking about the football team,””
Miller knew that he wanted to coach at a young age; his father and grandfather were coaches. His first student and player under his tutelage was Keith.
“I was always interested in politics and history and I’d be trying to teach [Keith] about American government,” Miller said. “I got my first head coaching opportunity, I might have been in ninth grade. It was Boulevard basketball three-on-three basketball tournament and I coached Keith’s friends.”