Les Miles wasn't kidding went he said he has more football left in him.
As Pete Thamel writes for Sports Illustrated, Miles has spent the weeks since his LSU firing working out of a Baton Rouge condo, studying the X's and O's he never adapted to in his later seasons with the Tigers and younger coaches who could turn into potential assistants on his new staff.
"I have 10 or 12 years left in me," he told Sports Illustrated. "There's plenty of energy in this body. I'm not a guy who lends himself to excesses, and I have great health. Let's go find us a place where the school wants to invest and win. And I say, 'Let's go!'"
As thousands of GAs and other climbers can tell him, it takes more than desire to get a job. Even when you have SEC and national championships on your resume, jumping back in the game is never automatic, especially when you reach a certain age. Phillip Fulmer was 58 when Tennessee let him go, and Houston Nutt, who hasn't worked since Ole Miss fired him in 2011, is still only 59. Industry scuttlebutt says Butch Davis, who turns 65 later this month, may have to settle for ending his 6-year coaching hiatus at Florida International after stints with Miami, the Cleveland Browns and North Carolina. Miles will be 63 next week.
(The obvious counterpoint: Nick Saban just turned 65 and no one questions his energy or want-to.)
To his credit, Miles was committed to playing the game. He hired Trace Armstrong to represent him, and Thamel writes Miles has conducted meetings with search firms. "I've enjoyed it," he said. "I don't know how I've been received. I've enjoyed the questions and process."
After years of controlling his environment as a head coach, Miles now has no choice but to sit and wait for the right opportunity to present itself. But he says when that door does knock, he'll be ready.
"I think I'm a better football coach today than I was the Sunday after Auburn," Miles said. "I have a want to win, win a conference championship and have the opportunity to play for a national championship still in me."