Jeff Mills returned to the Washington coaching staff as the secondary/safeties coach in January, 2009. Mills, who played his college football at Western Washington, was a graduate assistant for the Huskies under Don James in 1990 and 1991.
The 2011 season will be his third in charge of the UW safeties.
Last year, he oversaw a solid unit, comprised mainly of starters Nate Williams and Nate Fellner. Williams was among the Pac-10's top tacklers, finishing his senior season ranked third in the conference. Fellner was 21st in the league in tackles, and was also third in the league with five interceptions. Williams earned second-team All-Pac-10 and picked up an invitation to play in the East-West Shrine Game and also went to the NFL Combine. Those safeties also played a key role in the UW finishing the year second in the Pac-10 in pass defense.
In 2009, Mills was part of a defensive coaching staff that led the team to vast improvements over the previous season as the UW held opponents to 62 fewer yards and 12 fewer points per game than its 2008 averages.
Prior to returning to the UW, Mills spent the last two seasons as the defensive coordinator and secondary coach at FCS (Division I-AA) power Youngtown State. He's been either an assistant head coach or defensive coordinator for the last 10 seasons.
Prior to going to Youngstown State, Mills spent three years on the coaching staff at Idaho. He worked two seasons as assistant head coach and safeties coach for current Husky defensive coordinator Nick Holt, who was the Vandals' head coach in 2004 and 2005, before spending one season with Dennis Erickson in 2006, when he was defensive coordinator and safeties coach.
He worked at Nevada from 2000 through 2003, coaching the linebackers while also serving as defensive coordinator under longtime former Husky assistant Chris Tormey, who was the Wolf Pack's head coach those four seasons. During his time in Reno, Mills helped the team increase its wins total each year.
Mills also worked for Tormey as an assistant coach at Idaho, spending all five seasons of Tormey's tenure on the staff. During that time, the Vandals made the jump from the I-AA level to I-A. In his first four seasons in Moscow, he was the secondary coach before taking over the defensive line in his final season. He was also the defensive coordinator in 1998 and 1999.
In 1998, Idaho went 9-3, won the Big West Conference title and won the Humanitarian Bowl. Under Mills, the defense led the conference in scoring defense and sacks.
Before joining the Idaho staff, Mills spent three years (1992-94) as the secondary coach at Montana State. The Bobcats led the Big Sky in total interceptions and pass efficiency defense his second year while leading I-AA in turnover margin and the conference in total interceptions in 1992.
Mills was a graduate assistant at the UW in 1990 and 1991. The Huskies won the Pac-10 championship and the Rose Bowl in both of those seasons, and went 12-0 on the way to a co-National Championship in 1991.
Prior to his two seasons at the UW, he was an assistant coach for one season each at Drake and Western Washington.
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 1998.
He and his wife Karmen are the parents of two children, Amanda and Tyler. His brother, Jay, is the head football coach at Charleston Southern.