Rockdale school officials have hired Jeff Miller of Jacksboro to be the Tigers' new athletic director and head football coach.

The Rockdale school board chose Miller on Monday. He will replace Robby Clark, who resigned in January to move to Midlothian.

The 38-year-old Miller built a 31-15 record in four seasons at Class 2A Jacksboro, reaching the state playoffs each year and making the regional finals twice. His overall record as a head coach, including one year at Fort Worth North Side, is 35-21.

Superintendent Walter Pond said 3A Rockdale had 232 applicants for the job. A screening committee interviewed seven candidates, and the school board interviewed three finalists - Miller, Bo Robinson of 2A Bangs and David Husmann of 3A Gladewater.

"We felt like Jeff was a good fit for our program in that he had coached in both big and small schools," Pond said. "He had coached at places that had demographics that were somewhat similar to us. We felt like Jeff would care for all of our programs as athletic director, and that's something that we're very much interested in."

Miller already was working at Rockdale on Tuesday and plans to be on his new job full-time next week.

"Rockdale is very similar to Jacksboro," Miller said. "People here are very supportive of athletics. I feel like the future's definitely bright. We want to continue a relatively strong tradition and build on that."

Miller played for coach Warren Trahan at Cy-Fair and later served as an offensive assistant coach under Trahan for five years at Bay City and one year at Dickinson.

"I had a very good situation at Jacksboro, [but] I'm from Houston and my wife's from Bay City, and we were looking to get closer to home," Miller said. "We wanted to find something more centrally located.

Rockdale went 9-12 in two seasons under Clark. The Tigers made the playoffs in 2004 and finished 6-5 but dipped to 3-7 this season.

Miller is the Brazos Valley's third new head football coach hired since the end of the season. Franklin hired Mike Hedrick of Leon, caused another job opening in the area, while Hearne hired Ralph Lymas of Coldspring.

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