Ernie Mills
No. 89, 85, 80     
Wide receiver
Personal information
Date of birth: (1968-10-28) October 28, 1968 (age 51)
Place of birth: Dunnellon, Florida
Career information
College: Florida
NFL Draft: 1991 / Round: 3 / Pick: 73
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
* Pittsburgh Steelers ( 1991 1996)
Career highlights and awards
* Second-team All-SEC (1990)
Receptions     196
Receiving yards     2,934
Touchdowns     20
Kickoff returns     80
Return yards     1,818
Stats at
Stats at

Ernest Lee Mills, III (born October 28, 1968) is an American former college and professional football player who was a wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL) for nine seasons during the 1990s. Mills played college football for the University of Florida, and thereafter, he played professionally for the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Carolina Panthers and the Dallas Cowboys of the NFL.

Early years Edit

Mills was born in Dunnellon, Florida in 1968.[1] He attended Dunnellon High School,[2] and played CB/ATH for the Dunnellon Fighting Tigers, earning a second-team all-state selection as a senior.[3]

College career Edit

Mills accepted an athletic scholarship in 1986 to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where he was a four-year letterman for coach Galen Hall and coach Steve Spurrier's Florida Gators football teams from 1987 to 1990.[4]

Memorably, in 1990, he caught a 70-yard pass thrown by quarterback Shane Matthews from the Gators' own 2-yard-line, setting up a crucial field goal in the Gators' 17–13 victory over the Alabama Crimson Tide.[5]

As a senior, Mills was a second-team All-SEC (SEC) selection, and a team captain of the Gators squad that finished with a 9–2 overall win-loss record and a best-in-the-SEC record of 6–1.[4] He tied tight end Kirk Kirkpatrick with 770 yards receiving, and led the team with ten touchdowns in 1990.

Mills graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in exercise and sport sciences in 1990.

Professional career Edit

Pittsburgh SteelersEdit

The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Mills in the third round (73rd overall) of the 1991 NFL Draft,[6] and Mills played for the Steelers for six seasons from 1991 to 1996.[7] He had his best NFL season in 1995, when he caught thirty-nine passes for 679 yards, eight touchdowns, and over 2000 all-purpose yards [2] helping the Steelers gain a berth in Super Bowl XXX.

In 1996, he only registered 92 receiving yards, while recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, that he suffered during Super Bowl XXX.

Carolina PanthersEdit

On March 4, 1997, he signed as a free agent with the Carolina Panthers.[8] He was waived on February 9, 1998, after having a disappointing season with 127 receiving yards.[9]

Dallas CowboysEdit

On February 26, 1998, he signed as a free agent with the Dallas Cowboys, reuniting with head coach Chan Gailey who was his offensive coordinator with the Steelers.[10] He was the team's third receiver behind Michael Irvin and Billy Davis. He registered 28 receptions for 479 yards and 4 receiving touchdowns (led the team), until suffering a lacerated small intestine in the eleventh game of the season against the Seattle Seahawks. The injury caused him to miss the last 5 games and a total of six months.[11]

In 1999, he was the third receiver behind Michael Irvin and Rocket Ismail, but suffered a quad muscle injury that forced him to miss the last 5 games and the playoffs. He finished the season as the team's fourth leading receiver with 30 receptions for 325 yards. He was released on April 4, 2000.[12]

Mills finished his nine-year NFL career with 196 receptions for 2,934 yards and twenty touchdowns.[1]

Personal life Edit

Mills was the wide receivers coach for the Jacksonville University football team in Jacksonville, Florida from 2007 to 2012, [13] and the wide receivers coach at Florida A&M University from 2013 to 2017.[14]

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1, Players, Ernie Mills. Retrieved July 19, 2010.
  2. 2.0 2.1, Players, Ernie Mills Script error. Retrieved July 19, 2010.
  3. "Hometown Hero".,4588833&hl=en. Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  4. 4.0 4.1 2011 Florida Gators Football Media Guide Script error, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 97, 99, 124, 144–145, 148, 184 (2011). Retrieved August 31, 2011.
  5. Norm Carlson, University of Florida Football Vault: The History of the Florida Gators, Whitman Publishing, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia, p. 107 (2007).
  6. Pro Football Hall of Fame, Draft History, 1991 National Football League Draft. Retrieved July 19, 2010.
  7. National Football League, Historical Players, Ernie Mills. Retrieved July 19, 2010.
  8. "Panthers land Seals, Mills".,1001586&hl=en. Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  9. "Carolina releases free agent Mills".,2105903&hl=en. Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  10. "Cowboys sign former Steeler".,432794&hl=en. Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  11. "Dallas signs Mills to three-year pact".,5193283&hl=en. Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  12. "Cowboys release wide receiver Ernie Mills".,1784946&hl=en. Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  13. 2008 Jacksonville University Football Media Guide, Coaching Staff[dead link], Jacksonville University, Jacksonville, Florida, p. 35 (2008). Retrieved July 22, 2010.
  14. 2014 FAMU Football Media Guide, Coaching Staff

Bibliography Edit

  • Carlson, Norm, University of Florida Football Vault: The History of the Florida Gators, Whitman Publishing, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia (2007). ISBN 0-7948-2298-3.
  • Golenbock, Peter, Go Gators! An Oral History of Florida's Pursuit of Gridiron Glory, Legends Publishing, LLC, St. Petersburg, Florida (2002). ISBN 0-9650782-1-3.
  • Hairston, Jack, Tales from the Gator Swamp: A Collection of the Greatest Gator Stories Ever Told, Sports Publishing, LLC, Champaign, Illinois (2002). ISBN 1-58261-514-4.
  • McCarthy, Kevin M., Fightin' Gators: A History of University of Florida Football, Arcadia Publishing, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina (2000). ISBN 978-0-7385-0559-6.
  • Nash, Noel, ed., The Gainesville Sun Presents The Greatest Moments in Florida Gators Football, Sports Publishing, Inc., Champaign, Illinois (1998). ISBN 1-57167-196-X.
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