Former Utah State head football coach Chuck Mills dies at age 92

Chuck Mills

LOGAN, Utah – Chuck Mills who served as Utah State’s 16th head football coach from 1967-72, died this past weekend. He was 92.

Mills coached at Utah State for six seasons, leading the Aggies to an overall record of 38-23-1 (.621), including a 17-7 (.708) home mark. During his USU career, Mills was 8-4 against USU’s in-state rivals BYU and Utah, and his 38 career wins still rank third all-time in school history.

During his six years as Utah State’s head coach, which is tied for the fourth-longest tenure in school history, Mills led the Aggies to four winning seasons, including back-to-back 8-3 campaigns in 1971 and 1972.

In 1971, Mills took the first American collegiate football team to Japan as Utah State played a pair of games against Japanese All-Star teams. The Japanese equivalent of the Heisman Award, known as the “Mills Trophy,” is presented to the top collegiate football player in Japan each year.

Mills coached five All-Americans during his time at Utah State, including defensive linemen Phil Olsen and Bill Staley, who both earned first-team honors. Quarterback Tony Adams was named a second-team All-American under Mills, while wide receivers Mike O’Shea and Tom Forzani both garnered honorable mention All-American accolades.

Morton J. “Chuck” Mills was born Dec. 1, 1928, in Chicago, Ill. He graduated from Illinois State University in 1950 and spent the next five years as a coach at the high school ranks in his hometown of Chicago, while at the same time coaching a semi-pro team that posted a 30-0-3 record in two seasons.

In 1956, Mills served as a line coach at Citrus Junior College in Azusa, Calif., and then spent five seasons as the head football and wrestling coach at Pomona College in Claremont, Calif. Mills then moved to Pennsylvania, where he was the head coach at Indiana (Pa.) University for two seasons, followed by a one-year stint as the head coach for the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y. He then spent one season as an assistant at Arizona and another year as an assistant in the NFL for the Kansas City Chiefs before joining the Aggies.

Following his time at Utah State, Mills spent the next five seasons (1973-77) as the head coach at Wake Forest, and later spent nine seasons (1980-88) as the head coach at Southern Oregon. He then concluded his coaching career in 1997 as he led the Coast Guard to a 9-2 record in his only season with the Bears.

Mills retired to Hawaii soon after and spent the past 20 years staying involved in football as a consultant at all levels of the game.

He was inducted into the Utah State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2008.

To make a donation to the Coach Chuck Mills Scholarship Endowment, visit Each year, an Aggie Football student-athlete is awarded a scholarship from the endowment in honor of Mills.

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