New Skipper to Lead the ECC Baseball Squad

July 13, 2021 |

The East Central College Baseball Falcons will have a new leader in the dugout for the first baseball squad at ECC in 20 years.

Coach Johnathan Mills was hired last week to replace Brandon Rains who took a coaching and faculty position at Amarillo College in Texas.

ECC Athletic Director Dr. Jay Mehrhoff said Mills is a life-long baseball player and coach.

“It has always been his goal to guide a program at the intercollegiate level after years of being in the game,” Mehrhoff said. “Now he will be at the helm of the ECC Falcons newly reinstated baseball program this fall.”

Mills is familiar with many of the recruits since he was named as a volunteer assistant in the fall of 2020.

Mills is a native of Ft. Walton Beach, Fla., but played his high school baseball at Tuscaloosa High School and began his collegiate playing career at Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

While finishing up his last two years of his undergraduate degree at the University of Alabama he served as a student assistant on Jim Wells baseball staff for the Crimson Tide. The team had success and participated in the New Orleans Regional and Tuscaloosa Super-Regional in 2005-07.

Following graduation, Mills spent the last 13 years in travel and legion baseball, high school and NCAA Division II baseball in the southeastern part of the United States.

Coach Mills earned a bachelor’s degree in consumer science and health studies from the University of Alabama. He completed a master’s degree in management from Troy University in Troy, Ala.

Baseball Reinstated

In 2019 the ECC Board of Trustees reinstated baseball at ECC beginning the 2021-22 academic year. The team will have a roster of 35 players.

The baseball program was cut in 2001 due to budget cuts after starting in 1974. Notable baseball alumni from that era include former Toronto Blue Jay and St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Tom Henke and former major leaguer Omir Santos who played with the Baltimore Orioles, New York Mets, Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians.

In June, trustees approved a bid for a turf infield on the baseball field at ECC’s main campus in Union. The project will be funded by the ECC Foundation’s baseball campaign funds and matched by the Foundation to cover any amount over budget.