Dave Mills: Helping Others Achieve Greatness


Sam Hopkins, Staff Writer

The smell of sweat occupies the air of the east gym. This scent is not foreign to gym teacher Dave Mills, as he’s been accustomed to it for the better part of his life. Some thirty years after his own time in the gym, Mills finds himself in it once again, only this time for a different reason. Rather than conquering his own goals, Mills now serves the purpose of helping others achieve theirs.

“I was planning on going into business, but switched my major to education my sophomore year at Central Michigan,” Mills said. “It’s been very enjoyable being able to help young students achieve their goals.”

Mills knows a little something himself about achieving goals. As a high school wrestler, Mills did the remarkable, placing top five in the state for wrestling in three consecutive years.

“My sophomore year, I managed to place fourth, and then my junior year second, and my senior year first,” Mills explained. “Every year I managed to improve and eventually achieve my ultimate goal.”

Receiving a wrestling scholarship from Central Michigan, Mills attended intending to pursue a career in business.

“I started out with the intentions of majoring in business,” Mills said. “But, in college my thought process changed and I decided I wanted to enter either the coaching or teaching line of work. Fortunately enough for me, I’ve had the chance to do a little of both.”

Mills has made a strong career out of his chosen line of work, now beginning the second half of his thirtieth year teaching. Starting at Cedar Springs out of college, Mills made the switch to FHC with the intention of being there for the long run.

Additionally, Mills had a stint as a wrestling coach at both FHC and Grand Valley University. Through his eight year career at GVSU, Mills went on to establish some remarkable feats. To name a few, being named National Wrestling Coach of the Year, and winning several national titles.

“Those seasons at Grand Valley were really neat because of all the success the guys had,” Mills said.

Not only has Mills spent 28 years helping build the Phys. Ed department at FHC, he also has strong family ties.

“All three of the boys have gone through school here,” Mills said. “It’s been great being able to watch them grow and mature, becoming good, young adults.”

Looking down the road a few years, after completing his long and successful career, Mills has started to plan out the next chapter of his life.

“I’d like to travel, hunt, fish,” Mills said. “I go out to Oregon about every year to hunt elk. I’ve been fortunate enough to do that, and it’s something that I enjoy, so hopefully that’s what the future holds.”

Following his own life advice to a tee, Mills has his future plans full of things he’s passionate about.

“Just try to find something you really enjoy doing and then strive to be the best at it,” Mills said. “It’s the secret to happiness and success in life.”