GENE MILLS, Syracuse ’81 can uniquely share his lifetime record since Day 1 as “1356-46-1 with 886 falls,” thereby earning his nickname of “Mean Gene, The Pinning Machine.” His camps and email address are labeled Pin2Win. Gene was NJ State and HS National champion, Syracuse’s first 4-time wrestling All American and second 2-time NCAA Champion (also 3,4), voted OW in ’81. He ranks Top 2 in career college falls, won three World Cups and was voted OW as World Super Champion and Tbilisi, then Athlete-of-the-Year by the US Olympic Committee, all in the 1980 boycott year. He’s in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
As one of the sport’s most exciting ever, the OW awards were no accident. In 10 bouts to win NCAAs, Mills had seven falls and won, 17-2; 16-13; 28-4. His 1979 finals win came vs. Joe Gonzalez, the 1980 champion who won five National Opens and was a 3-time World Top 5. The win avenged a 9-8 loss to Gonzalez in the ’79 All-Star Classic. Gene’s last EIWA championship came by fall over Lehigh’s Bobby Weaver in the only known collegiate battle between Olympic teammates. After assisting mentor, Ed Carlin, as coach for many years, Mills resides in nearby Liverpool, NY, where he runs the Pin2Win Club and camps.