The Final Call


Wilson Lybbert

Coach Mills watches the action during a game versus East Valley of Yakima on October 1, 2021

Hayden Mills

Hayden Mills, Senior Producer

On November 4, 2021, head coach Jay Mills walked off the grass of Kiwanis Field following his team’s 52-8 victory over North Central. At the time, few would have guessed it would be the final time Mills would coach the Tiger’s varsity football team. Mills, who began coaching at Ephrata in 2001, would soon announce that he was hanging up the headset after 22 seasons at the helm of the program. The 2021 Central Washington Athletic Conference’s Coach of the Year ended his final season with an overall record of 5-5. 

I sat down with Coach to chat about some of his favorite memories from his two decades on the sideline. “From our first win at Medical Lake in 2001…anytime we beat Quincy is exciting,” Mills said.

Being the head coach for so many years, along with coaching multiple sports at the same time, Mills gave some advice for his current players and those coming up “Play other sports, be competitive in those other sports…work hard in the weight room. I think the weight room is the great equalizer in all sports. Doesn’t matter about talent, how fast you are, how tall you are, you can improve your ability as a player by working hard in the weight room. Be a good student. Be a good citizen.”Mills is thankful for the opportunity to be able to coach at Ephrata for as long as he did and unquestionably he has impacted the lives of all those who suited up for him. 

Mills isn’t completely giving up his coaching title. He will continue to help with high school wrestling during the winter and middle school track in the spring. With his extra free time in the fall, he looks forward to watching his three kids, Carter, Hayden, and Addie pursue the things they love whether that’s in school, athletics, or whatever their future brings. Mills continues his day job as a counselor at Ephrata High School while looking forward to what life will bring him tomorrow.