Gene Mills

Gene Mills

Wrestling/Martial Arts

Enshrined: 1991

Born: September 28, 1958

Gene Mills, a native of New Jersey, was one of the greatest wrestlers in Syracuse University history. Mills won two NCAA Division I Championships and was SU’s first and only four-time All-American. He had a career mark of 144-5-1 at SU which included a Division I NCAA record 107 career pins.

A 1980 U.S. Olympian, Mills was named athlete of the year by the U.S. Olympic committee.  Although Mills did not compete in the Moscow Olympics because of the U.S. boycott, he became a World Super Champion in Japan and a Tbilisi Champion in the former USSR.  Mills was voted the outstanding wrestler in both tournaments.

Mills was a finalist for the 1984 U.S. Olympic team but shoulder reconstruction prevented him from fulfilling his Olympic dream.

Mills posted an incredible career record of 1,356-45-1 with 866 of his wins won by fall. He was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2000. Mills went on to become a successful high school wrestling coach in Phoenix, NY.

Career highlights:

1977-1981: SU wrestling team with record of 144-5-1 and 107 pins; two-time NCAA Champion; four-time All-American

1980: World Cup Champion and Outstanding Wrestler; Tbilisi Soviet Champion and Outstanding Wrestler; No black marks in tournament, first-time ever; pinned Olympic Gold, Silver, Bronze medalists.

1980: U.S. Olympic Committee Athlete of the Year; AAU Outstanding Wrestler

1981: Most Valuable Wrestler, NCAA tournament; won the World Cup, Great Plains Tournament, Pelado Tournament, Cuba, Most Outstanding Wrestler.

1982: Won AAU Tournament title; Became head coach of the Mohawk Valley Wrestling Club

1985: Champion and Outstanding Wrestler, Rokoczy Cup, Hungary Champion, Outstanding Wrestler, Roger Goulon Tournament, France, U.S. World Team.

1985,1887, 1988 and 1991: Head coach for U.S. Wrestling team in Budapest and Miskokc, Hungary

1986-1998: Assistant Coach, Syracuse University wrestling team; head coach of the Mohawk Valley Wrestling Club; Camp Director of the SU Big Orange Wrestling School

1990-1991: USA head coach vs. USSR in Portland, Maine and Syracuse, New York.

2000: Became distinguished member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame

Other achievements: Pan-American Games Freestyle Champion

 

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