A mailbag discussion at Black Shoe Diaries that is open right now got me to thinking about Gene Mills. Who remembers him? I went to a wrestling camp at Bucknell back when I was in high school in the early 1990s. Mills was one of the coaches there. He made quite the impression on me. First of all he was one of those guys who just cannot sit still. He was a ball of energy. He was very passionate about wrestling. I recall him speaking about losing out on a chance to participate in the Olympics because the United States boycotted the 1980 games in Moscow. Mills was a two time national champion for Syracuse and before that a New Jersey state champ. He was very animated about Syracuse cutting their wrestling program. I looked on his website and he still lives in the Syracuse area. Is there any movement at all at Syracuse to restore the wrestling program? I would like to read your thoughts and memories about Mills.
Here is a list of his accolades from his web site.
- New Jersey State Champ and HS National Champ
- Syracuse University's 1st 4 time All American
- 2 time NCAA Champion
- voted outstanding wrestler NCAA's
- Division I NCAA career pin record of 107 pins
- 3 time World Cup Champion
- 1980 World Super Champion in Japan and voted the Outstanding Wrestler
- 1980 Tbilisi (USSR) Champion and voted the Outstanding Wrestler
- Cerra Pellado Champion in Cuba and voted the Outstanding Wrestler
- Roger Goulon Champion in France and voted the Outstanding Wrestler
- Rokoczi Cup Champ in Hungary and voted the Outstanding Wrestler
- 1980 US Olympian and voted the "Athlete of the Year" by the US Olympic Committee
- Career record of 1356-46-1
- Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma