Catching Up with Coach Mills: Part I

Fight On State caught up with former Penn State quarterback Zack Mills to talk about his new coaching role at Temple, his thoughts on Michael Robinson and the 2005 Nittany Lions and even his experience at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.

It is likely not a surprise to most Penn State fans that Zack Mills is making the transition from the huddle to the sideline. With a four-year tenure as the leader of Penn State's offense, Mills led the Nittany Lions through the most challenging period on the football field under head coach Joe Paterno.

In this two-part series, Fight On State talks to the record-setting quarterback about his migration to the coaching ranks as a graduate assistant at Temple, his thoughts on the 2005 edition of the Lions, coaching at Penn State and even his skills at the poker table.

FOS: Zack, how did you end up on the coaching staff at Temple?

Mills: Well, I started out sending my resume to about 15 to 20 programs around the East Coast. My agent was involved with the process and called one day to tell me Al Golden was hired at Temple a few weeks before it was announce.

Once Al made the move I sent my resume to him directly and he gave me a call and said he thought they would have an opportunity for me. We talked about it and it seemed like the right fit for me.

FOS: How do you see your role developing at Temple?

Mills: That is not 100 percent defined yet, but obviously I will be working with the guys on the offensive side of the ball. I expect that the coaches will have me focused on working with the quarterbacks and receivers out of the gate.

FOS: Are you taking classes at Temple?

Mills: Yes, actually I am pursuing a degree in sports administration here.

FOS: Do You see the move to Temple's staff as a stepping stone to a full-time coaching career?

Mills: Absolutely. Coaching has always been an aspect of the game I have been interested in and thought I could excel at. I love the game and think coaching will be an exciting challenge.

FOS: Talk about your relationship with Al Golden.

Mills: He was at Penn State during my freshman year in 2000 and I got to know him then. He is a great coach and has lots of energy and intensity. I have already learned a lot from him and am excited to learn more.

FOS: What will the impact be on the recent announcement that Temple is losing nine scholarships due to the NCAA's new APR system?

Mills: Honestly, I am not really familiar with the details of the APR system, but Coach Golden just addressed this and feels there will be little impact to the team, as long as we don't lose anyone through the fall. It obviously hurts, but we should be OK.

FOS: What do you hope to accomplish in your first year on Temple's staff?

Mills: I just want to learn as much as possible. I will be working with a great coach, the team's offensive coordinator George DeLeone. He's coached a places like Syracuse and Ole Miss.

Stay tuned to FOS for part two of our discussion with Mills as we cover a variety of topics about Penn State, including Michael Robinson and his desire to coach there.

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