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. Three seasons and 17 wins later, Mills is widely recognized as one of the top head coaches in the NESCAC and all of NCAA Division III, transforming the tradition-rich Amherst football program into 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 records and a bevy of outstanding individual performances by a host of quality student-athletes.
"I never considered myself an interim coach in the way I approached that first season," Mills explained. "Amherst is where I wanted to be, and I've been fortunate enough to have outstanding players along the way."
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.
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.