News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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April 7, 2014

Metro roundup: ISU adds new D-line coach for 2014 season

TERRE HAUTE — Indiana State football coach Mike Sanford announced Monday that Jeff Mills has been hired as the team’s defensive line coach.

Mills replaced Mike Lucas, who recently left the program to become defensive coordinator at Northwestern State. Additionally, Sanford announced that Jamie DeBerry has moved to the defensive side of the ball to coach safeties in addition to his duties as special-teams coordinator and Anthony Perkins will coach the other positions inside the defensive secondary.

“Jeff brings years of experience at both the FBS and FCS levels, including time in the Missouri Valley Football Conference,” Sanford said. “Coach Mills is off to a great start with our team during spring practice and we look forward to him coaching our defensive line."

Mills comes to ISU from New Mexico, where he spent the last two seasons as its defensive coordinator. He led the 2012 UNM defense to almost double the number of turnovers recorded (25) as it had in 2011 (13) and more than double the number of sacks (21) as in 2011 (10).

Mills guided the Lobos to the sixth most improved scoring defense in the nation from 2011 to 2012 (an 11.5-point improvement).

The Lobos also yielded 47.7 fewer yards per game in 2012 than it did in 2011, prior to Mills’ arrival. The 2011 UNM defense ranked 119th in the country in rushing yards allowed at 246.8 yards per game. Mills guided the team to a No. 77 ranking in 2012 at 174.9 yards allowed.

Mills’ pupil and senior strong safety Matt Raymer was nominated for the Burlsworth Trophy, which goes to the nation’s best player who began his career as a walk-on, in 2012. Raymer ranked tied for sixth in the nation with four forced fumbles and was eighth in the Mountain West with an average of 7.5 tackles per game.

Prior to his time at New Mexico, Mills was an assistant coach at Washington, where he coached the secondary/safeties from 2009-11. Mills, who played his college football at Western Washington, was a graduate assistant for the Huskies under Don James in 1990 and 1991.

A native of Urbandale, Iowa, Mills played quarterback and outside linebacker at Western Washington, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in broadcast communication in 1988.

He and his wife Karmen are the parents of two children, Amanda and Tyler.

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