Head Coach E.J. Mills
Head coach E.J. Mills took the Amherst helm in 1997, succeeding
current Yale head coach Jack Siedlicki after four years as the Lord Jeffs' defensive
coordinator. Four seasons and 24 wins later, Mills is widely recognized as one
of the top head coaches in the NESCAC and all of NCAA Division III, restoring
the tradition-rich Amherst football program as a perennial national powerhouse.
As an interim coach in his inaugural season, Mills quickly shook the interim tag
with a stellar 7-1 record, an unofficial conference championship and part ownership
of the coveted Little III title. His two ensuing seasons produced consecutive
5-3 marks, before a breakout 2000 campaign produced another 7-1 record, a three-way share of the NESCAC crown, and the Jeffs' first outright Little Three Championship in 14 years.
Aside from the combined acumen of an accomplished and venerable coaching staff,
Mills' greatest asset could be his prowess as a defensive coordinator. Under his
tutelage, the 1996 Lord Jeffs led the nation in scoring defense, allowing a miniscule
8.4 points per game average. The following year, Mills engineered shutouts in
three of Amherst's first four outings, including a lopsided 38-0 triumph in his
head coaching debut. 1998 brought similar results, including a whopping 35 sacks
for a total loss of 220 yards, while last season's Lord Jeffs surrendered just
11.0 points per game with 63 tackles for loss. In 2000, Mills' squad led the NESCAC and finished fifth in the nation in scoring defense (8.8 pts./gm.) with a trio of shutouts to its credit.
Mills is a graduate of the University of Dayton, where he earned a degree in history
and secondary education in 1988. He began coaching at Midlakes High School in
Clifton Springs, N.Y., before a two-year stint mentoring the defensive secondary
at the University of Albany. Immediately preceding his tenure at Amherst, Mills
served as the defensive coordinator at Ramapo College in Mahwah, N.J.
Mills is married to the former Angela Povoli, who graduated from Amherst in 1995 and currently serves as the head volleyball and assistant softball coach at NESCAC rival Trinity College.