22 Comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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”.

  9. 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!!

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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!

  15. 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

  16. 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!

  17. 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.

  18. 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!

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  21. 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.

  22. 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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