There are mixed emotions on campus today. The University celebrated when Charleston Southern alumnus Tim Scott (’89) was officially sworn in as a South Carolina Senator.
By afternoon, the mood became a bit more somber when Jay Mills announced his retirement. Coach Mills spent 10 years as head coach of the CSU Bucs football program, including a Big South Conference title in 2005. More importantly, he is a respected leader, coach with a passion for sharing Jesus Christ.
“Success and failure is measured in multiple ways and most people only see it as one in an athletic contest, that’s win or lose,” Mills told me during an interview in 2009. “I wanted them (players) to understand there are other measures of a man and what true success is.”
Jay Mills Sr. was his hero. His father coached high school sports in Iowa.
“He made a grand total of $6,000 dollars, but it was his passion,” said Mills. “He was a better coach than I’ll ever be.”
Mills said his father’s dream was to coach on the college level.
“I told him before he passed away, ‘Dad, if I ever get an opportunity to become a head football coach at the collegiate level, I’m bringing you out of retirement,” he said. “I want you to coach for me. Three months to the day that I interviewed for this job, he passed away. I’m realizing my dad’s dream everyday now, and my brother’s doing the same thing.”
“Our primary purpose through the program is mission and ministry,” he continued. “Mission, because we to continually expose them to the gospel and, hopefully, deliver a message through the Holy Spirit to lead them to salvation. The ministry part is to lead those who are believers, toward spiritual maturity. Our passion just happens to be football to deliver that purpose.”
We will miss you Coach Mills.