CHARLOTTE, NC — Carolina Panthers defensive line coach Sam Mills III has been named one of two head coaches for the 2019 East-West Shrine Game. Mills will serve as the head coach of the East Team, while Minnesota’s Adam Zimmer will coach the West Team.
Mills just completed his 14th season with the Panthers, serving as assistant defensive line coach from 2011-18 and then being promoted to defensive line coach this past month.
Since 2012, the Panthers defensive line has led the NFL in sacks and ranked second in rushing defense. In 2013, Carolina recorded a league-high 60 sacks, tying the single-season franchise record. In 2015, Pro Bowler Kawann Short tallied a career-high 11 sacks, tied for the most among all NFL defensive tackles that season.
Between 2014-18, defensive end Mario Addison recorded a team-high 42.0 sacks, ranking ninth in the NFL over that span. Addison has led or tied for the team lead in sacks in each of the last three seasons.
A Division II All-American linebacker at Montclair State, Mills III is the son of Sam Mills, the former Panther linebacker who is the only player in franchise history to have his number retired and remains the only player inducted into the team’s Hall of Honor.
At the conclusion of the NFL regular season, teams nominated deserving assistant coaches who were reviewed by a panel that includes NFL Football Operations staff, East-West Shrine Game leadership and two members of the NFL’s General Managers Advisory Committee. Once the head coaches are selected, each head coach then fills his 12-person staff from among other NFL assistant coaches nominated by the clubs.
Panthers offensive quality control coach Drew Terrell will serve as an assistant coach on Mills’ staff.
The 94th annual East-West Shrine Game, which features some of college football’s best prospects, will kick off at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, January 19, from Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida and be televised live on NFL Network.