Career Coaching Record
(22nd season, 136-42 overall)
.764 Winning Percentage
- 2015 AFCA Division III Region 1 Coach of the Year
- Three-time NESCAC Coach of the Year (2011, 2014, 2015)
- Four Undefeated Seasons Since 2009 (62-11 record)
- Coach of 3 NESCAC Offensive Players of the Year and 5 NESCAC Defensive Players of the Year
- Coached 21 CoSIDA Academic All-District Honorees and 2 Academic All-Americans
A four-time NESCAC Coach of the Year, E.J. Mills has led Amherst to a 70-12 record and four undefeated seasons since 2009, and has solidified himself as one of the top coaches and defensive minds in the country.
Having just finished his 26th overall season on the Amherst sidelines, and his 22nd as head coach, Mills has been a part of 156 of the program’s 645 total victories since 1877. Arriving in the Pioneer Valley in the fall of 1993 and serving as a defensive coordinator through the 1996 season, Mills helped the team improve its record in each of his four years as an assistant alongside former Yale head coach Jack Siedlecki. When Siedlecki made his move to lead the Bulldogs, Mills was named the interim head coach for the 1997 season, and has been at the helm ever since.
Amherst saw immediate success with Mills at the reigns, posting 7-1 ledgers three times during Mill’s first 12 seasons before ultimately capturing the program’s first perfect 8-0 record since 1984 in 2009. An historic season on several fronts, Amherst won their first-ever outright NESCAC title, claimed the Little III crown for the first time since 2004 and won at archrival Williams College’s Weston Field for the first time since 1985 en route to Mills garnering AFCA Division III Region 1 Coach of the Year and NESCAC Coach of the Year honors.
Since then, the Mammoths have gone undefeated three times (2011, 2014 and 2015), and have captured four more NESCAC titles to increase the program total to six. In 2011, Amherst led the league in scoring offense, turnover margin, and sacks en route to 13 All-Conference selections and another NESCAC Coach of the Year honor for Mills, while the 2014 squad boasted one of the top defenses in the country – leading Division III in scoring defense (8.9 ppg) and ranking 15th in total defense (273.1 ypg) – and racked up 11 All-NESCAC selections, including another league coach of the year honor for Mills, and the 2014 ECAC Team of Distinction Award.
Continuing their dominance into 2015, Amherst finished its campaign 8-0 for the second consecutive season to once again claim the NESCAC title outright. It was the first time the program finished without a loss in back-to-back seasons in its rich 138-year history. Concluding the year riding a program record 19-game winning streak, Amherst landed 15 all-conference selections – the most ever by the Mammoths – and the most since the 2011 season (13) in which it also finished a perfect 8-0. Mills was selected as the NESCAC Coach of the Year for the second time in as many years, and for the fourth time overall in his 20-year tenure at the helm of the Amherst football program.
Although Mills focuses on the development of his student-athletes more than he does statistics and records, the numbers cannot be overlooked. Under his tutelage as a defensive coordinator, the 1996 Mammoths led the nation in scoring defense, allowing a miniscule 8.4 points per game. In 2001, Amherst tied a 21-year old NCAA record by not allowing a single passing touchdown, and two years later, tied a conference record with four shutout victories. In 2009, Mills’ squad led Division III in rushing defense (50.9 ypg) and finished third in scoring defense (10.4 ppg), and most recently in 2014, the Mammoths led the nation in scoring defense once again, surrendering just 8.9 points per game.