Jimmy Mills

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Jimmy Mills
Personal information
Full name James Mills
Date of birth (1894-07-01)1 July 1894
Place of birth Dundee, Scotland
Date of death 8 October 1990(1990-10-08) (aged 96)
Place of death Sebring, Florida, United States
Playing position Wing-half
Youth career
St. Clemens
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
Vale of Leven
Kirkintilloch Rob Roy
1920–1923 Toronto Caledonians
1924–1925 Philadelphia Field Club 26 (1)
1925–1935 Fairhill
Teams managed
1925–1953 Fairhill F.C.
1938 Penn Quakers
1942–1953 Philadelphia Nationals
1953–1956 Brookhattan
1956– Uhrik Truckers
1949–1970 Haverford Fords
1956 US Olympic Team
1974–1980 Girard College (assistant)
1981–1983 Girard College
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Jimmy Mills (1 July 1894 – 8 October 1990) was a Scottish-American soccer wing-half and coach. He gained his greatest fame as a coach, taking his teams to five league, three league cup titles and two McGuire Cup titles In 1956, he coached the US Olympic soccer team at the 1956 Summer Olympics. He is a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame.


Born in Dundee, Mills moved first to Paisley then to Bridgeton, Glasgow as a young boy. He began his career with St. Clemens in the Churches League. In 1909, he began playing in the Scottish Junior Football Association with Shettleston F.C., Vale of Clyde F.C. and Kirkintilloch Rob Roy. He then moved to Bathgate F.C. when he was seventeen. He also spent time with Clyde F.C. before transferring to Canada in 1920 where he joined the Toronto Caledonians of the National League. In 1923, he moved to the United States, but does not show up on a professional roster until the 1924–1925 season when he played twenty-two games for the Philadelphia Field Club of the American Soccer League. He saw time in only four games at the start of the 1925-1926 season before moving to Fairhill F.C. of the Allied League of Philadelphia. Mills would continue to play for Fairhill until 1935.


When Mills joined Fairhill F.C. in 1925, he became the team's coach as well as a player. Over the next sixty years, Mills forged a legendary coaching reputation as he led multiple teams at the collegiate, amateur, professional and national levels. While Mills continued to coach and play for Fairhill until 1953, he also became a college coach when he replaced David Gould as the head coach at the University of Pennsylvania in 1938. He spent only one season at Penn before becoming the head coach of the boys' team at The Episcopal Academy. He coached the boys for the next twelve years. In 1942, Fairhill F.C. purchased the professional Philadelphia Nationals of the American Soccer League and elevated Mills to head coach. A traditionally poorly performing team, the Nationals suffered under several poor seasons before Mills slowly built them into the league's dominant team. Beginning in 1948, Mills' led the Nationals to a string of league (1949, 1950, 1951 and 1953 ) and Lewis Cup (1949, 1951 and 1952) titles. In 1953, Brookhattan hired Mills. He spent two seasons with the team before returning to Philadelphia in 1956 when Uhrik Truckers hired Mills. He promptly took them to the league championship.[1] By that time, Mills had established himself at the collegiate level. His year at Penn and his work at the Episcopal Academy brought him to the attention of Haverford College which hired him in 1949. He remained in that position until 1970, coaching every season except 1956 when he headed the US Olympic soccer team. Mills compiled a 126–94–21 record in his twenty seasons with Haverford which continues to host an annual Jimmy Mills Soccer Tournament. During many of his years with Haverford, Mills held practice only after working all day repairing looms at a Philadelphia carpet mill.[2] In 1974, he became an assistant coach at Girard College before moving up to the head coach position in 1981. In 1983, a heart attack ended his coaching career at the age of 88.[3] Mills also spent twenty years as the coach of the Lighthouse Boys Club, taking the team to twenty consecutive city championships as well as the 1957 and 1967 US U-19 championships (McGuire Cup).

Olympic team[edit]

In 1956, Mills coached the US Olympic soccer team at the 1956 Summer Olympics. While the team lost to Yugoslavia, 9–1, in the first round, it had a successful pre-tournament tour of Asia. Playing a mix of national and club teams, the US went 5–3 on the tour.


Mills was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1954 and the NSCAA Hall of Fame in 1991.[4] In 1981, he was also honoured with the Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Association's Service to Youth Award.[5]


External links[edit]