TULSA, Okla. (oruathletics.com) – New Oral Roberts Head Men's Basketball Coach Paul Mills was officially introduced at a press conference after being selected for the job late last week. Mills brings more than 20 years of experience to 81st and Lewis, and will inherit an All-Summit League selection in Albert Owens and the Summit League Freshman of the Year in Emmanuel Nzekwesi.
Mills has said multiple times in his first week that a quick turnaround is not only possible, but expected.
"I was talking to Coach (Rodney) Perry and I know we were 8-22 this year, but it would not surprise me if we were 22-8 next year, because of the guys on this team," said Mills. "I've been at Baylor for 14 years and we've averaged 25 wins a season, and I would not have left a great situation if it weren't for this group and we are going to do this, right now."
At Monday's press conference, Mills talked about the history of ORU and how much that history meant to him as he connected with former ORU greats, including Richard Fuqua. He also mentioned the importance of restoring the support that came with the success of the past.
"Truett Cathy, owner of Chik-Fil-A said,' To get bigger, you have to get better,' and that is what we plan to do. When the support comes behind something that is stirring, it becomes something so much bigger. I truly believe these guys are worth supporting."
TULSA, Okla. (oruathletics.com) – Oral Roberts University has named Paul Mills as the new head coach for the ORU men's basketball program, it was announced today by Mike Carter, ORU's Director of Athletics. Mills joins the Golden Eagles after 14 years at Baylor, eight as an assistant coach, and will be officially introduced at a press conference Monday.
"This is an exciting day for ORU basketball. Coach Mills has a wealth of top level NCAA experience and comes to us fully prepared to advance the ORU men's basketball program to new heights," said Carter. "I love the passion Coach Mills has for his players and this will be key as we continue to develop whole person champions.Coach Mills is here for the long-haul committing to a five year contract building toward a strong Golden Eagle men's basketball future."
"I am honored to accept this role of representing this historic institution, its students and its mission," said Mills. "Making this commitment today is a highlight of my career and I look forward with excitement to the basketball season directly ahead. Go Golden Eagles."
"In Coach Mills we have a man of great character who has a passion for mentoring young men to be good citizens, good husbands, and spiritual leaders. Coach Mills has a fantastic family and a strong competitive nature," said ORU President William Wilson. "We are excited for the days ahead."
While on the staff at Baylor with Head Coach Scott Drew, Mills has helped the Bears graduate 36 of 38 seniors and has helped lead Baylor to a pair of NCAA Elite Eights, four Sweet 16's and four straight NCAA Tournament appearances. The Bears have been ranked in the top 25 for 10 straight seasons and were ranked number one in the country for the first time in school history during the 2016-17 season.
Mills was on the Rice staff from 2002-03 and the head coach at Fort Bend Christian Academy from 1999-2002, taking them to the TAPPS 4A Final Four for the first time in school history and was the South Region Coach of the Year and a four-time District Coach of the Year. Prior to his time in Sugar Land, Texas, Mills won three straight district championships as the head coach at North Belt Christian.
Mills serves as the Big 12 representative for the National Association of Basketball Coaches and was a board member for the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches from 2001-03. He is a 1996 graduate of Texas A&M with a degree in finance, and is married to Wendy Scott-Mills. The couple has two daughters, Audrey and Abbey.