Charles McMillian begins his first season as the Lobos’ defensive backs coach. He comes to UNM from Prairie View A&M, having served as defensive coordinator last season for the Panthers.
McMillian brings with him a wealth of experience on the defensive side of the ball as a former assistant in the Big 12, Big Ten, Mountain West and Conference USA.
In 2013, he coached a couple of second-team All-Southwestern Athletic Conference performers last season in linebackers Raheem Cardwell and Jerome Howard at Prairie View. Caldwell led the team with 104 tackles and had eight tackles for loss. Howard was the Panthers’ second-leading tackler with 91 and led the SWAC with 19.5 tackles for loss.
In January of 2008, McMillian landed in the Big 12 as the defensive backs coach at Texas A&M under Mike Sherman. McMillian coached defensive back Trent Hunter to honorable mention All-Big 12 honors as a true freshman as he finished third on the team with 64 tackles and a team-high three interceptions. Hunter earned All-Big 12 second-team honors in 2009 along with fellow defensive back Jordan Pugh as Texas A&M made an appearance in the AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl. During the 2010 campaign, Texas A&M won its most games (nine) since 2006 and advanced to the Cotton Bowl as four defensive backs earned All-Big 12 honors. In 2011, McMillian had two defensive backs selected to the All-Big 12 team as A&M earned a bid to the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas. Under McMillian’s watch, two defensive backs were drafted by NFL teams in Pugh and Terrence Frederick while defensive back Lionel Smith signed a free agent contract.
Prior to his time at Texas A&M, McMillian was a member of Gary Patterson's staff at TCU in January of 2004. He immediately made an impact in TCU's secondary as two members earned All-C-USA Honors in 2004. During the 2005 campaign, TCU moved to the Mountain West and won the conference in its first season. Four members of the secondary earned All-MW honors as the Horned Frogs finished the season ranked ninth nationally and won the EV1.net Houston Bowl Championship. Two of McMillian's cornerbacks received the opportunity to play in the NFL as Drew Coleman was a sixth-round draft pick while Quincy Butler signed as a free agent. In 2006, TCU once again finished the season ranked in the top 25 while claiming a Poinsettia Bowl win over Northern Illinois. McMillian coached Nick Sanders to a spot on the Freshman All-American Team as TCU allowed a Mountain West low nine touchdown passes that season. Once again in 2007, McMillian had three members from the secondary earn all-conference honors as TCU claimed a victory in the 2007 Texas Bowl. Along with Coleman and Butler, TCU standout defensive back Rafael Priest signed a free agent contract with the New Orleans Saints.
Before returning to his home state with TCU in 2004, McMillian coached cornerbacks at the University of Indiana in the Big Ten from 2002-04. As a member of the Hoosiers' coaching staff, McMillian helped Indiana upset nationally ranked Wisconsin in October of 2002 while finishing the year ranked 33rd nationally in pass defense.
McMillian coached one year at Cincinnati, prior to his transfer to Indiana. There, he molded two future NFL Draft picks in cornerbacks coach Lavar Glover and Blue Adams. The Bearcats were participants in the Motor City Bowl in Detroit that season.
He had a second tour of duty at Navy in 2000, coaching his first All-American in safety Chris Lepore. Lepore led the Midshipmen in tackles and accounted for nearly half of the team's turnovers under McMillian's watch.
McMillian coached the secondary during a two-year stay at Boise State from 1998-99, helping the Broncos win a Big West championship and a Humanitarian Bowl victory over Louisville. Boise State ranked 21st in pass efficiency defense in 1999. Boise State defensive back Dempsey Dees inked a free agent contract with the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts.
McMillian began his coaching career as a student assistant at Utah State in 1995 before moving to the Naval Academy for the first time later that year as the junior varsity secondary coach along with serving as a defensive and special teams assistant with the varsity team.
A native of Bryan, Texas, McMillian began his collegiate playing career at San Jose City College in 1991 and was his league's Defensive Player of the Year in 1992. He moved on to Utah State and led the Aggies to a Big West co-Championship in 1993 and a berth in the Las Vegas Bowl.
McMillian is a 1995 graduate of Utah State with a degree in science and liberal arts. McMillian and his wife, Cydryce McMillian, have two children: Isaiah and Mykayla. McMillian also has a daughter, Cherrelle.
The McMillian File
Hometown: Bryan, Texas
Bowl Games: 2009 Independence Bowl, 2007 Texas Bowl, 2006 Poinsettia Bowl, 2005 EV1.net Bowl, 2001 Motor City, Bowl, 1999 Humanitarian Bowl; 1996 Aloha Bowl