Miller
Miller

Dover High School has opened up the position of head varsity football coach.

The Eagles' head coach for the past seven years has been Bill Miller, who was serving in his second stint in the position.

Miller said he was told Monday after school that the job was being opened up.

"I was informed that the high school administration and athletic director decided to open the position," Miller said.

Miller, 47, wouldn't go into the reasons presented to him for the administration's decision, saying that wouldn't be "professional."

"I respect their decision, but I don't accept their decision," he said. "I have to move on. ... There's not a whole lot I can do to stop it. I had every intention of returning. I had even met with the players on Friday about offseason conditioning."

Dover athletic director Rich Leathery declined to comment on the school's decision.

Miller said he is undecided if he will reapply for his former job, but that he "absolutely" plans to continue coaching. He said he will make his decision on reapplying for the job sometime after the Christmas break.

In his second seven-year tenure at Dover, Miller compiled an overall record of 27-45. In his first seven-year stay at Dover, from 1996-2002, he was 28-43, for an overall record of 55-88.

Miller said that he is hopeful that the administration will allow him to continue working with the team during the offseason until a new head coach is hired.

"I don't want to leave the kids high and dry," he said. "... I feel a certain sense of responsibility to keep working with them. I'm their biggest fan."

Miller said the situation has been "complicated" by a surgical procedure he had on Tuesday to remove a large mass from his upper back.

"I've been home since then and haven't been able to do anything," he said. "I haven't been able to talk with or meet the players. I sent an email to the parents trying to explain what was going on. ... I'm very disappointed with the timing of this. It's been very frustrating."

Miller, who is a physical education teacher at Dover High School, said he expects to fully recover from the surgery.

Miller believes that whoever ends up with the Dover job will inherit a team with potential, despite a 4-6 record this past season.

"We had over 50 kids at the sign-up meeting on Friday," Miller said. "I was very pleased with that turnout. This team has some experience coming back and has some big goals. ... They're setting a goal of winning a division title next year. That's a real objective and I don't want this to get in their way."

Dover did earn a share of the York-Adams Division II title in 2011 -- Dover's first-ever football title -- which Miller pointed to as one of the highlights of his Dover career.

"Especially in the last three years, we've taken some great strides to ignite the football program," Miller said. "We've gone 19-13 with two district appearances."

Miller said that he didn't believe a drunken-driving charge that ended his first tenure at Dover in 2003 had anything to do with the school's decision this week.

"That's pretty far removed," he said. "It was never brought up."

The Dover school board rehired Miller by an 8-1 vote in 2006, despite some protests from the public that his drunken-driving arrest would not make him a good role model for children.

Leathery, when asked if members of the 2012 Dover staff would be considered for the job, he said that "all applications will be reviewed."

Leathery also said he would prefer a candidate with previous head-coaching experience.

The deadline to apply for the job, according to Leathery, is Jan. 11. He's hoping to have a new head coach in place before the end of February.

-- Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdis patch.com.