Kansas head football coach Les Miles said Friday that he has been cleared to return to work after testing positive for COVID-19 last week.
According to Bruce Feldman of The Athletic, Miles said that despite being cleared, he will not travel with the team for their game against West Virginia on Saturday. Tight ends coach Joshua Eargle will serve as the Jayhawks’ acting head coach for the game.
Miles said the following about his decision, per ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg: “There is too much still unknown about this virus for me to feel 100 percent confident that I won’t transmit it to someone who comes into close contact with me on the team charter, hotel or at the game Saturday.”
According to ESPN’sMark Schlabach, the 66-year-old Miles said he entered into a 10-day quarantine at his home after announcing he tested positive Oct. 8. Miles handled his coaching duties remotely and didn’t attend any practices.
Miles is in the midst of his second season as the head coach at Kansas after previous stints with Oklahoma State and LSU.
Overall, Miles owns a 145-67 record and he led LSU to a national championship in 2007. In his first season as head coach of the Jayhawks in 2019, Miles went 3-9.
Kansas, which hasn’t won more than three games in a season since going 5-7 in 2009 and hasn’t had a winning record since going 8-5 in 2008, is off to an 0-3 start this season.
The Jayhawks fell to Sun Belt team Coastal Carolina in their first game this season and have since been blown out by Baylor and Oklahoma State.
WVU, which is hosting Kansas at Mountaineer Field in Morgantown, West Virginia, on Saturday, is 2-1 on the season.
Last week, the Mountaineers beat Baylor 27-21 to improve to 2-1, making them a big favorite against Kansas since the Jayhawks struggled to hang with Baylor.
On Saturday, Kansas will look to score its first victory over West Virginia since beating the Mountaineers 31-19 in 2013.
Kansas coach Les Miles will not travel with his team for Saturday’s Week 7 game at West Virginia. In a Friday statement, Kansas said that Miles has been cleared to travel to Morgantown, but he’s opted not to out of caution. Miles just completed his 10-day isolation window after it was announced on Oct. 8 that he tested positive for COVID-19.
“While my 10-day isolation window was completed this morning, there is too much still unknown about this virus for me to feel 100 percent confident that I won’t transmit it to someone who comes into close contact with me on the team charter, hotel or at the game Saturday,” Miles said in a statement. “As we continue to work our way through this pandemic, nothing is more important than the health and safety of our players, coaches and staff that make up this great team. As the head coach, it is up to me to set the right example for our student-athletes, and that is what I am doing with this decision by not traveling with the team.”
Assistant coach Josh Eagle will coach the Jayhawks against the Mountaineers.
Miles is the fifth coach to publicly test positive for the coronavirus since the season began. Alabama’s Nick Saban, Florida State’s Mike Norvell, Arkansas State’s Blake Anderson and Arizona’s Kevin Sumlin have all tested positive. Saban’s positive test comes ahead of the Crimson Tide’s prime time showdown with Georgia — by far carrying the biggest game implications since Week 1.