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54 Comments

  1. Dave Baillie
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    God Bless, Coach. Thank you for the opportunity, and for bringing us together as a TEAM.

  2. Steve Giorgis
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    God Bless and Prayers

  3. Randy Charles Lyons
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    Coach, you not impacted my life, you also touched the hearts of my wife and daughters. Laughter and tears fill the stories to be retold for years to come. Thank you for blessing my life, and those of my SOSC Brothers and Kousins. Give Barb a team hug, Godspeed!

  4. Ken Smith
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    Thank you, Phil, for arranging and hosting such a heartfelt and compassionate tribute to Coach. The repetitive message each team’s memoirist shared was a testament to Coach’s consistent connection with each of us from his earliest years as a coach until his passing.
    Kenneth (Ken) Smith Pomona College ’62

  5. jack lengyel
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    To a long time friend an wonderful GREAT FOOTBALL COACH , who did as much for the game of football in his personal efforts thru out his life , as Amos Alonzo Stagg. I miss you and love you. RIP. coach jack lengyel

  6. Carl Mayer
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    Coach Mills had a great impact on my life. He awarded me in 1963 the most promising player award, although he left after that season from IUP. The lessons he taught me both on the field and off have influenced me for over 50 years. On Coach’s 90th birthday I sent him a book I wrote about the history of our local high school football team. He called me one evening as I was watching TV and on the screen came this call from Hawaii. I almost didn’t answer, thinking it was a crank call. I am glad I did, it was Coach thanking me. After talking for about 15 minutes we hung up. A few minutes passed and the phone rang again, it was Coach, he told me to be sure to tell my wife how instrumental she was to get me to write the book.. I will never forget his impact on my life. Carl “Reptile” Mayer

  7. Jim Tipler
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    Semper Fidelis Coach, It was an honor and a pleasure knowing you. You will be missed.

  8. Bob Jamison
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    Coach Mills:
    Innovator
    Educator
    Inspirator
    Mediator
    You were ALL that; and MUCH, MUCH more !!!
    Thank you. May you Rest In Peace !!

  9. Jerry Bowman
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    I played for Coach only one year at Pomona in 1958 and lacked the ability to contribute much. He was assistant coach then and we played single-wing. I remember before one game he had a bunch of us 5th stringers line up and run a few plays using a T formation. I think it was more as a joke than a serious attempt to cause the other coach any distress. As a coach, he always struck me as having a very good mind. As a person during that one season and the subsequent 62 years, he always impressed me as a high quality man with about as much character as you can pack into a single man.. Although I only played one year (I was kicked off the team for being drunk in the dining hall at the end of the school year, and ended up taking a year off school.), he remembered me and kept in touch. He even referred some people to contact me when they visited NZ (where I’ve lived for 34 years). He was a remarkable man and I’m a better person for having known him.

  10. Nick Winslow, Pomona College
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    Coaches play an enormously important role in the development of young people and we Brothers and Kuzzins were blessed to have someone of the caliber of Coach Mills to help build our strength and character. Coach’s unrelenting emphasis on team play, hard work, going all in and fair play, in the context of a game we all love and with people who became lifelong friends are things all of us carried forward from our time with Coach Mills. Thanks Coach. We love ya back. And thanks Phil for organizing this final chapter in the era of the Brothers and Kuzzins/

  11. Roger Choate
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    Remember him well. And with gratitude

  12. Nathalie Mullinix
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    I pulled this interview I did with Chuck on Leadership in 2017 if anyone would like to hear it. http://tobtr.com/9742403

  13. Dan Erickson
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    I will always be in debt to Coach Mills. He fully understood that most college football players would not graduate to pro football. I remember when I first arrived at Utah State University he started that we were there for an education and that football came second.
    I met my wife, Gayle, at USU while in grad school after serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. I will be forever indebted to Coach Mills for bringing me to USU as we have been married now for 45 years. Gayle and I visited Coach Mills in Hawaii in 2014.! It was wonderful.
    So all I have to say is that Coach Mills is one of the most important people in my life.. I will remember him with love forever. Semper Fidelis Coach!
    Dan Erickson

  14. Dan Erickson
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    I will always be in debt to Coach Mills. He fully understood that most college football players would not graduate to pro football. I remember when I first arrived at Utah State University he stated that we were there for an education and that football came second.
    I met my wife, Gayle, at USU while in grad school after serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. I will be forever indebted to Coach Mills for bringing me to USU as we have been married now for 45 years. Gayle and I visited Coach Mills in Hawaii in 2014.! It was wonderful.
    So all I have to say is that Coach Mills is one of the most important people in my life.. I will remember him with love forever. Semper Fidelis Coach!
    Dan Erickson

  15. Jon Fia
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    Thanks Coach for everything you did. Being coached by you was an important part of my life. The decision to become a Raider was one of the best decisions of my life.

  16. Susen Meco for the Mieszkowski Family
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    From Susen Mesco, on behalf of my Grandparents Martha & Thaddeus, who took Coach Mills into their home when he was in grade school. On behalf of my Father Victor and Uncle Ed Mieszkowski (player at Notre Dame / Coach at Marquette Univ, WI), who were sports buddies with Chuck. They all met up in heaven for a hug, high-five, and a game. Let’s remember him in our prayers and how he touched all lives… even mine and I never even met him! God Bless ALL the Kuzins. Amen
    A Game Guy’s Prayer….
    Dear God,
    Help me to be a sport in this little game of life.
    1 don’t ask for any place in the lineup.
    Play me where You need me.
    I only ask for the stuff to give You 100% of all I’ve got.
    If all the hard drives come my way, I thank You for the compliment.
    Help me to remember that You won’t let anything come that You and I, together can’t handle.
    Help me take the bad breaks as part of the game. Help me be thankful for them.
    And God, help me always to play on the square, no matter what the other players do. Help me to see that often the
    best part of the game is helping the other guys.
    Help me be a “regular fellow” with the other players.
    Finally God, if fate seems to uppercut me with both hands and I’m laid up in sickness or old age help me to take that as part of the game.
    Help me not whimper or squeal that the game was a frame-up or that I got a raw deal.
    When I get the final bell, I ask for no lying, complin1entary stones.
    I’d only like to know that YOU feel I have been a “good guy.”
    (-Chaplain’s Digest)

  17. Nathalie Mullinix
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    God Bless you Chuck!11 Meeting you in 2000 and knowing you all these years has been special. Your Leadership talks and so much more will live on forever…in so many lives…Ironic how full circle you went from the Kansas City Chiefs in 1966 to watching them from Heaven in the Super bowl this year. ( I have no doubt) You made all of us feel special. And although you hated the phone (for long talks, only quick chats) I cherish the coffee shop get togethers and staying in touch when off island. So glad to reach you after the holidays. So many great memories. Can see you now with Barbara choosing another pup, smoking your cigar….gathering up players for the next round… Luv you Chuck. 🙂

  18. Walt Bateman
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    As a player he taught me how to persevere and humbly understand success. As a Mentor he taught me the importance of working with the flow. In the worst of times and the best, Coach was always able to ask the right questions and leave me to figure out the answers. Best of life to all Brothers & Cousins.

    Luv Walt

  19. JoeForzani...1968
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    Memorable Phil and presenters for bringing Chuck Mills to us in such a strong and sensitive manner!…He was a good man, cared for me as he did everyone! He helped mold boys into men and for this I am greatful! Very well done group!…Thank You!

    Love You Chuck!

  20. Mike Vance
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    Coach Mills was one of a kind. I played for him on the 1997 team at the CGA. We had a year that movies are made of but it was Coach’s wit, smile, and love for his players that I remember most. I miss him.

  21. Rusty Malone
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    God Bless. Rest in peace

  22. Tony Adams
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    Coach Mills will be missed by all the Brothers and Cousins around the country. He has meant so much to so many. Thank you Coach for being there for all of us.

  23. Paul Wargo
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    There are hundreds of “Coach Mills” stories that will live with us forever. Whether you were a player, a coach or just knew him, he made your life a whole lot better and definitely more entertaining. He was God’s Blessing to all of us.

  24. Don Lindich
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    Great memories of Coach Mills from the time he arrived at IUP in 1962 to begin developing an outstanding football program for all the athletes, other students and the entire community to the present time. He has managed to keep players close and vivid memories alive throughout all those years.

  25. Sanshiro Kaneko
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    We miss you, Chuck.

  26. Dan Troxel
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    Thanks, Coach. My children’s children will hear stories about you.
    Southern Oregon

  27. Fred Arbanas
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    You are where you should be next to the Lord.

  28. Kris & Lisa
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    What a great soul, we can’t think of him without smiling!

  29. Fred Garbinski
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    As many of us have noted, there are but a few people during our lifetimes that we remember forever. The experiences and the messages live on in each of us and I expect that you, as I, continue to think of our relationships with Coach Mills with fondness. They always bring a smile. Not only was he a great coach but as he shared with me and others so long ago that his goal was to “make a difference”. Well coach, you did. You played the game well, taught us all plenty and we all hope to affect others as you have with us. I often find myself using those stories as examples of a life well lived.
    Thanks Coach. God be with you.

  30. Anonymous
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    Perhaps we are in the minority but my wife and I didn’t know Chuck through anything to do with football, but through our common love of dogs. He had recently moved to Hawaii and had his much loved canine partner in quarantine. Our dog was on his way to Fiji from China and Hawaii was a quarantine stop on the way. Ruth, my then fiancé, befriended Chuck or Chuck befriended Ruth. Ultimately it doesn’t matter but what does matter is that he became a great friend and was quick to accept an invitation to Australia to attend our wedding in July 2000. We remained great friends. He never forgot to send birthday and wedding anniversary best wishes. We were fortunate to see him on a number of occasions over the years and we cherish those times. Chuck had so many great qualities. He was the real deal as they say. He is sadly missed by both of us, but what a life he lead and what a legacy he has left behind.

  31. Clay Johnson
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    You will always be in my thoughts and were an influence in my life. You were great for a good story.

  32. Bill Leonard
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    One outstanding memory I have of Coach Mills was having a football clinic @ Indiana,Pa. where Coach Hank Stram spoke and QB Lenny Dawson worked out with backs & receivers in a Spring practice. Coach Mills always found ways to motivate players in a very POSITIVE WAY! His interest & dedication to his players & the game of football was so evident in his everyday lifestyle. Bill Leonard Indiana State College ‘62 & ‘63

  33. Steve Pauley Pomona College '58-'62
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    A good man, a fine coach, and he had a great sense of humor:
    i.e. having us little guys at Pomona College scrimmage the football team at the Chino Men’s Prison in
    Chino, CA. Yes, we were a bit scared. We had no idea what to expect. Coach seemed to have that certain smile that said “this ought to be fun.” Well first, all the inmates in the stands were rooting for us and having a great time. My opposing tackle, one giant dude, had a system: “This time I lay on you, next time you lay on me. That way we don’t get too tired”. Hmmm, not a bad deal. We took it to them anyway. They were fun guys, and football does that to you. Camaraderie, self confidence, team play, lifelong friends. And as he shaped us for later life, he kept us laughing. We won some games and had a winning season in ’59, beating Occidental College 7-0. Thanks Coach for all you taught us.

  34. Gerry Wick
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    As a freshman at Pomona College, I decided to join the football program with no prior experience in high school. Coach Mills always encouraged me even though my skill level was lagging behind my teammates. Finally as a senior I became a starter as outside line backer. Chuck and the other coaching staff were always supportive of my endeavors. When I sent a note to Chuck on his 90th including my self-evaluation of my football abilities, he wrote back: “I was the coach, as I recall, you were a much better player than you recall!!!”
    Thanks Coach for all your years of mentoring your players. Now you can take a rest.
    Gerry Wick, Pomona College class of 1962

  35. Eddie Wilson
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    Friends:
    To have had the privilege of being associated with Coach Mill while being a member of his Wake Forest staff is an honor I will continue to cherish. He was a special and unique man who cared greatly about his players compared to most.. May his memory be revered by all who knew him. Blessings to all.
    Eddie Wilson

  36. Rick Larrabee
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    While Coach Mills was the Athletic Director at the US Coast Guard Academy I served as the Assistant Superintendent and saw him just about every day. My wife and I also lived next to Barbara and Chuck. I always enjoyed his gift of gab and his sense of humor. But, I was most impressed by his ability to speak in public. One day I asked him what his secret to public speaking was. He smiled and showed me what looked like a menu from a Chinese restaurant. He had a variety of topics organized in such a way that he could pick stories and points that he wanted to make, depending on the audience and the theme. Chuck could put an hour speech together in 5 minutes and go deliver it like he has been working on it for days. Always organized and always prepared. He was a great neighbor, great coach and great mentor.

  37. Ty Couey
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    Coach Mills was before his time, was a true giant among football coaches in this nation, was a friend, was a conduit in bring diverse groups together that created lifetime friends, he would put his name and reputation to be supportive of the men who played football for him to matter the college, and he was our hero.

  38. Phil
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    I wanted to join with my Brothers and Kuzins, friends & family to share a few thoughts about the legacy of Coach Mills’ life. While his win/loss record as a coach is remarkable, I think his greatest accomplishment was the positive impact he’s had on the lives of so many. When we use the term “Coach” to describe him, it’s intended to convey a sincere message of admiration, honor, respect and appreciation.
    I’ve heard it said that the true measure of a person is not seen in what they’ve done for themselves, but is more accurately reflected in what they’ve done for others. While Coach Mills was a bit rough around the edges and had a tendency to ruffle feathers with some of the tough decisions he made at times, he earned a well-deserved reputation for being objective and for sincerely caring about all who crossed his path.
    I consider it both an honor and a blessing to have had the opportunity to play on three of Coach Mills’ football teams at Utah State. Highlights were being only 7 points from an undefeated season in 1967, winning 7 of 10 games games in 1968 and beating in-state opponents Utah & BYU as well as San Diego State, Wisconsin, Memphis State, West Texas State and Army.
    I’m thankful for the investment Coach Mills made in me both as a player and as a person. Wherever I’ve gone and in whatever I’ve done, I’ve tried to make him proud. I always knew that he was out there watching and that he was cheering for me.
    Phil Olsen
    USU 1967-70

  39. Ken Mitchell
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    A friendship never to be erased. Brought together via football and sports media, our respectful association spanned 52 years. I’m grateful to have known Coach Chuck Mills.

    Ken Mitchell
    Sports Information Director
    Utah State University
    1969

  40. Gerald "Jerry" Kelly
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    What I remember most about Chuck Mills at Pomona College was when he preached to us that he wanted us to play “Pop Up” football. “When you get knocked down, I want you to Pop Up”.

  41. Susen Mesco
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    Coach Mills, lived on and off when he was very young, with my Grandparents. My Uncle & Godfather, Ed Mieszkowski and Chuck were great buddies. After my graduated from Notre Dame, where he played football. he got a job coaching football at Mt Carmel. My Uncle engaged Coach Mills to be a coach. After my Uncle passed Chuck always kept in touch with my Father. My Father would share the wonderful emails with me. Although we never met, Coach Mills kept in contact with me after my Father passed in 2014. I am SO inspired by his life and leadership. What a great guy! So blessed to think the boys, Chuck, Ed and my Dad are back together. I’m sure it was as warm welcome with my Grandparents in heaven. How honored I am to be included thanks to Coach Mills extraorfinary communications over the years. Prayers to all for the joy of connection through Coach!!

  42. Carl Patterson
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    He was good for me when I was a young man.. I really learned about life while under his tutelage

  43. Karina Soto-Webster
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    We met Coach a few years ago. I offered to walk Kit, his black lab-pit doggie. I visited Coach in the mornings when I would come get Kit but somehow, I ended up fascinated with Coach’s amazing stories. Eventually, I adopted Kit, since she stole my heart as well. I know he felt Kit could have a good home with me and my family, but I know he struggled with the decision, as he loved her very much. We are all so sad to hear of his passing. I only wish we could have had a few more visits with him. Kit and is a huge part of our family and we owe that to Coach. For loving her that much to let her be with us. He will always have a special place in our hearts and we know Kit considers him part of the pack.

  44. Barney Janecki
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    As the saying goes Chuck and I go back a long way. I was very lucky to be friends with Chuck. We met in high school (we were both at Leo at the time) and have always stayed in touch. We both loved football and that kind of united us. Even though I am a football nut as my family will attest, Chuck liked football even more. Before there was such a thing as the Super Bowl, the Rose Bowl signaled the end of the season. After that game no one was interested in football until the following August when the College All-Stars would play the Champion Pros at Soldier Field in Chicago. Between the span of those two games football was not talked about or written about. But that did not apply to Chuck. I remember in February when it was bitter cold in Chicago, Chuck would call me and invite me to go for coffee to one of our diners. Guess what he would bring up? Yes, he wanted to talk football: diagramming plays, giving me problems as to how I would solve them and anything else related to the game. Of course, I enjoyed it too, but I did not discuss football again until he and I got together for another meeting. At that early age Chuck already was football wise. I was fortunate to have a friend like Chuck, He was an outstanding coach but more so an outstanding individual. I was lucky to be part of his family.

    Barney Janecki
    Chicago, IL

  45. Anonymous
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    Most people don’t realize just how influential and powerful Coach Mills really was. In the fall of 1962 at Indiana State College, we thought we had experienced this first hand. It was on a Thursday, early evening, shortly after football practice ended. The team was packing their football gear for the Friday bus trip to a far away Saturday afternoon game, Our printed itinerary indicated that we would be eating numerous meals at restaurants, of course,, including several on Friday. Coach Mills entered the locker room where the team was all there and announced,, “By the way, all of you Catholic players may eat meat tomorrow, on Friday.” Hearing this, I respectfully shouted back, “Thanks a lot, Coach! We appreciate that!” After a moment of team silence, Coach Mills looked at me with his trademark smirky smile and sad, “Vaccaro! That was the Pope that gave this dispensation for this particular Friday, NOT me!” Ever the modest Coach Mills, he refused to take credit for this,. We sure loved this man, didn’t we? Al Vaccaro

  46. Ken Donnelly
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    For five years I witnessed Coach Mills help change the direction of countless student/athletes at SOU. I count myself as a successful product of Coach Mills humanistic approach to coaching. After 30 years as a high school coach/ teacher, I tried my best to teach as Coach Mills taught me. I wanted him to be proud of me. Love you Coach!

  47. Barry "Buck" Lippencott
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    I had the honor of being on Coach Mills 1963 ISC/IUP football team. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to play for Coach Mills albeit it was only one (1) year it was an experience never to be forgotten and the start of a lifetime friendship. Coach Mills worked very hard to stay in touch with all of his former players. He started the “Brothers & Cuzins” reunion where the players from ISC/IUP were my “Brothers” and the players from the other schools he coached were my “cuzins” but we considered all of us as “Brothers” due to the link with Coach Mills. Coach Mills never hesitated to help any of his players when we had a life changing situation. The numerous contacts within the “Brothers & Cuzins” group normally had someone with the expertise to help with the situation. If it was not available in the “Brothers & Cuzins” group Coach Mills found the needed help somewhere else.
    The “Brothers & Cuzins” reunions in Las Vegas were always an event we looked forward and being able to see Coach Mills and all of our “Brothers”. To my knowledge this is one of the largest groups for this type of reunion. For Coach Mills 90th birthday, on 04 Dec 2018, over 125 people traveled from throughout the US to attend this event in Las Vegas.
    When Coach Mills was inducted into the IUP Athletic Hall of Fame (HOF) in 2009 over 60% of the players who played for him at ISC/IUP were in attendance. This is one indication of the love and respect we all had for this outstanding individual.
    All of the “Brothers & Cuzins” have great memories of Coach Mills. Coach Mills was a great friend to me and all of his other players for over fifty (50) years and he will always have a special place in our hearts.
    Barry “Buck” Lippencott, ISC/IUP Football 63 – 66

  48. Donnie Brown
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    Funny story-one of many humorous situations that Chuck found himself in throughout his coaching career! In 1976, our Wake Forest team finished with a 5-6 record with one of those losses being to the Univ. of Michigan and 3 of the other 5 losses being by a total of 6 points. As a result, at the end of the season the Detroit Free Press contacted Chuck to congratulate Wake Forest on being the Number 1 team in the country according to their statistics! Chuck gladly accepted their recognition and thought no more of it until he got a call from the NCAA Compliance people wanting to know what his connection was with the Detroit Free Press. Unbeknownst to Chuck, the Detroit Free Press was the go to source for book makers throughout the country, and they had benefited quite well financially by taking Wake Forest in the spreads throughout the 1976 season! I told the players this story at the last gathering we had for Chuck at Wake Forest when we played Utah State, and told them while they were out there getting their brains rattled with those old Riddell “suspension” helmets and getting their $25 per month in “laundry money” from the athletic department, their were a lot of bookies throughout the country who greatly appreciated their efforts on the football field and benefited quite well financially from them keeping their scores within the spreads! Not sure if Chuck ever received a plaque or trophy for this accomplishment, but if he did I don’t think he ever asked the AD if he wanted to display it in the Wake Forest Trophy Case!

  49. Dean
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    Coach I hope that your new journey is speedy and that your eternity is comfortable. I appreciate what you did for your former players and am certainly blessed to have been one of them.

  50. Scott Lovemark
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    Thank you Coach for letting me transfer to SOSC. Enjoyed learning life long lessons and playing with a great bunch of guys. He will be missed but never forgotten!

  51. Dale Brown
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    Chuck Mills was far more than just a football coach and Vince Lombardi described him perfectly when he said, ” Coaches who can outline a play on a blackboard are a dime a dozen. The ones who win get inside their players and motivate them.” Coach Mills really loved his players and was intent on keeping in touch with them long after their playing days ended. One of his former players was talking about Coach Mills when he told me, ” It’s not all about who you coach or even where you coach. It’s about WHY you coach.” Coach Mills most certainly knew why he coached. Dale Brown-LSU head basketball coach-1972-1997.

  52. Dr George Bakalis
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    Thanks to Coach Mills inviting me onto the Wake Forest football team as a preferred walk on, I had experiences and made friends that have lasted a lifetime.
    Dr George Bakalis
    Chiropractic Physician

  53. Ron Peters----IUP player and coach
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    One of the three tenets of the term near and dear to the hearts of U.S. Marines, SEMPER FIDELIS(Semper Fi), is the steadfast loyalty to fellow Marines who one has “fought” alongside. While certainly not inferring that playing a football game is comparable to war, the closeness, respect and maybe even love that comes from a common purpose in a highly intense concerted effort surely exists. Coach Mills, in his efforts to help his players perform to their best not just in football, but, eventually facing life’s trials exemplified this tenet in his steadfast loyalty and love for those who played for him. He exhibited unabashed, personal family style love for his players AND received the same.

  54. Barbara Turner- Burney
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    I thank God that I got to meet you. You are an amazing man

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