University of Kansas

For now, lights, camera, action gives way to football for KU coach Les Miles

The Last Whistle (Official Trailer)

The all-star player of the local high school football team collapses during practice, all eyes turn to the storied head coach, who tries to maintain the team's winning streak. The town turns against him, leading to a lawsuit from the player's mother.
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The all-star player of the local high school football team collapses during practice, all eyes turn to the storied head coach, who tries to maintain the team's winning streak. The town turns against him, leading to a lawsuit from the player's mother.

As a football coach, Les Miles knows how to give direction. As an actor, he found himself on the other side and enjoyed the life enough that there’s no question his pursuit of movie roles would have continued had he not landed the job at Kansas.

“Absolutely,” Miles said. “I don’t know exactly what or where. But my reviews were very positive. I collected some of those articles.”

Miles has appeared in four movies since 2014. The first occurred while he was still coaching LSU. Miles had a small role in “When the Game Stands Tall,” about the head coach of California’s De La Salle High, which won 151 consecutive games. Miles was “Oklahoma scout No. 1.”

The next flicks came after Miles was fired at LSU after four games in 2016. He played a uniformed police officer in the 2017 independent horror-thriller “Camera Obscura.”

Miles next two films have been released in the last year. He was NASA official “Nelson” in “The Challenger Disaster,” about the 1986 space shuttle explosion, and “Billy,” a tough guy in a bar in the “The Last Whistle.”

In that movie, a scene with Miles opens the trailer.

Miles said he’s always been interested in the profession.

“Our family is a movie-going family,” Miles said. “We’d always talk about movies after we left, we’d critique the movie.”

Miles said the toughest role to play was in the Challenger movie.

“I was the guy that said “We need to launch, that there’s no definable criteria for not launching,’” Miles said. “When I gave those lines, I couldn’t feel them because I knew someone had made that decision and it cost lives.”

Miles got the “that’s a wrap” on his thespian adventures last November when he was hired as the Jayhawks’ coach.

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