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Celebrating The Legacy of Sam Mills

Posted in: Alumni News and Events

Sam Mills

Sam Mills ’81, who was once considered too small to play linebacker in the NFL, received the NFL’s most prestigious honor on August 6 when he was posthumously enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 2022. One of the all-time greatest athletes to graduate from Montclair State University, Mills was an NCAA Division III standout from 1977-80, setting school records with 501 career tackles, 142 tackles for a single season, and 22 tackles for a single game. Montclair retired Mills’ No. 62 in 1981, inducted him into its Athletic Hall of Fame in 1992 and bestowed an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree upon Mills in May 1998.

During Homecoming 2022 on Saturday, Oct. 29, Montclair will celebrate Sam Mills, who died of cancer at age 45 in 2005, and his enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame with a reception for the Mills family, teammates and friends followed by a pregame ceremony and plaque unveiling on Sprague Field. His wife Melanie and sons will be in attendance for the ceremony and the festivities celebrating Mills’ legacy, including the debut of the Montclair faculty- and student-produced film Teammates.

The pregame ceremony begins at 12:30 p.m. The first 400 fans in attendance will receive a commemorative rally towel inscribed with Mills’ inspirational words “Keep Pounding,” a phrase that also will be displayed on the back of the Montclair football players’ helmets. His Legacy continues to inspire Montclair students, alumni and the entire community to courageously “keep pounding” to achieve their dreams.

Please visit the Homecoming website to view the schedule of events, plan your day, and purchase your tickets to help cheer on Montclair as they take on Christopher Newport University.