Dec 062011
Authors: Cris Tiller and Kevin Lytle

Tim Miles is in his fifth year as coach of the CSU men’s basketball team. The Ram’s win totals have increased each year during his reign. As he builds the program into a consistent contender, he has used his own TV show and activity on Twitter (more than 4,000 followers) to put CSU on the map.

What’s your philosophy behind social media?

We felt like when we started our program, I was kind of a nobody. We wanted to find ways to market and promote and show people what we’re all about, what the culture and environment of our program is like. So we started the TV show.

We went to the Mtn., (assistant coach) Niko Medved actually talked me into going to the Mtn., presenting a reality show. We did that for three years. Won an Emmy. Yay. (Former marketing director) Ben Chulick, kind of feeding off that wanted us to do Twitter. He came to me, at the same time we started a Facebook account with our program that my assistants run. I don’t Facebook. It was just a way, not to reach out to recruits, but just to kind of show what the day-to-day culture of our program is like. I use it for me personally and for our program just to let people know.

I always giggle, I do, when people are like ‘I can’t believe you tweet at halftime.’ What’s the difference between telling (media relations member) Danny (Mattie) ‘Rebound!’ and a TV guy stopping me right before I go to the locker room and giving a four sentence answer? There’s no difference, but it’s social media, not network media. So now we can’t believe it. It is what it is. It’s another medium to reach your fans or create more fans. And we’re going to try and use it the best we can.

How much negativity do you get on Twitter?

Some. You get some. I try and not indulge it too bad. I’ve seen other coaches that have, everything that comes about that’s negative they answer right away. You take plenty of slings and arrows as a coach. Fans have the right.

I actually blocked one guy because he was tweeting during a game, ‘why aren’t you doing that?’ I just blocked him. And I saw him at DIA one time, he goes, ‘you blocked me!’ I’m like, ‘Well shut up! I’m a good guy, you’re probably a good guy, but don’t get drunk and tweet me during a game.’

What was your reaction to getting hired by a bigger school like CSU after being at North Dakota State?

I had been out to Fort Collins, we had played out here twice, and I had came out and actually met with the previous staff. I just really like CSU. I thought it was a cool campus. I liked the town. I’d gone out and had coffee in Old Town, was really impressed with the whole town. Loved the weather. It’s just a beautiful place to live. I was excited about the fact that we could raise a family here, build a program.

There’s a lot of really cool things about Fort Collins and Colorado State. And it’s got a great academic reputation too. And the Mountain West is a big deal. I knew it was a great conference and wanted to be a part of that.

What is your dream coaching job?

Dream jobs are just that. Dream jobs can become nightmares in a hurry. So be careful what you wish for. I love where I’m at. I’m going to try and build this thing in the best way I can for as long as they want me to be the basketball coach.

Will your kids be better basketball players than you?

I was talking to my daughter last night. She was explaining that she was going to try out in like two weeks for the team, but they cut a lot of people. And I’m like, ‘when was the last time you picked up a basketball?’ And she couldn’t recall. I think I’m the best player in my family. My son’s seven. He says he knows how to shoot. He says, ‘watch, I can shoot.’ And he makes one. ‘See, I know how to shoot.’ So apparently he’s got it covered.

What’s it like being a very public figure in a smaller town?

It’s different. That’s true. The one thing is, with the TV show and some of the things that go down, you’re more recognizable than ever. Some of the places you go, people recognize you. And that’s always, interesting. Sometimes you don’t want to be noticed; you just want to have dinner or whatever. But at the same time, it’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to build our brand, trying to build a program that people recognize and want to be a part of and want to support.

What’s your best fan encounter?

At the Final Four (in 2010). I go out, coaches have dinner the first night there, you travel you’re in sweats, you haven’t shaved. You get there, put you’re good shirt on, get the Axe on, you’re feeling all good. I walk out, and right outside the hotel, in downtown Indianapolis, all of a sudden this lady comes running up, ‘coach Miles, coach Miles!’ Her husband’s running right behind. I’m looking, ‘did I do something wrong?’ And she’s like, ‘we love Reaching the Peak!’ She says, ‘I even taped the Bachelorette.’ The final episode of Bachelorette to watch the last episode of Reaching the Peak. He (her husband) goes, ‘she’s crazy about it. She’s crazy about it.’ It’s pretty cool. I thought that was a pretty cool moment. I thought that was pretty funny.

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