This Sunday on E:60 at 9 a.m. ET on ESPN, reporter Tom Rinaldi and producer Frankie Saraceno team up to profile former LSU football coach Les Miles as he begins his journey as the new head coach for the Kansas Jayhawks.
“I entered the project with a set of expectations regarding Coach Miles,” said Saraceno, who began at ESPN in 1994 as a production assistant. “He was the grass-eating, (kind of) goofy, slightly off-center Mad Hatter I’d seen on TV, so I was looking forward to seeing where we could take this story. We decided very early that this would not be a classic profile, but rather a focused feature on his return to college football.”
Rinaldi has interviewed Miles many times over the years and has told great stories including the College GameDay feature “Save me a spot in heaven.”
“I covered Les throughout his time at LSU and had the opportunity to do many interviews with him. We also did the story together on Sid Ortiz [Save me a spot in heaven] and that was of such a sensitive nature. It was not a simple decision for Les to share that with us,” said Rinaldi. “In doing so, I think people saw a different part of him and I think people will continue to see other parts of him here in this profile as he takes on the challenge in Kansas.”
Saraceno, who had never worked with Miles before this, says he gained perspective on the coach while producing the piece.
“I ultimately learned that he’s a man of great depth with a passion for his calling. He’s meticulous and fearless and he’s going to need all of that to rebuild a Kansas program that hasn’t had a lot of success historically,” said Saraceno who’s been part of multiple Emmy and Murrow Award-winning projects at ESPN. “I think what people will see is a football lifer who’s ready to do what he does best: teach young men to be, in his words, ‘better brothers and sons and eventually husbands and fathers.’”
In addition to Sunday’s E:60, an 18-part series, Miles to Go, debuts August 29, on ESPN+, chronicling Miles’ first season as head coach of the Jayhawks.