Zach Mills leaves Southwest for professional opportunity
SUMMIT – Fulfilling the dream of many athletes, Southwest assistant soccer coach Zach Mills has joined the professional ranks by becoming a member of the Estrella De Corgi soccer team. The team is based in Omate, Peru. He will be joining the team on January 28.
Mills said he had always wanted to play soccer at the next level and tried out for the team after speaking with an acquaintance that has played on the same team. When told he had made the team, Mills said “I really couldn’t believe it. It was kind of a dream come true. I still can’t believe it; I’m getting more excited every day.”
Because he will be leaving his family and friends behind in the United State to take this step, Mills was asked if he had any second thoughts. “A few,” he said. “I’m getting (a little) nervous (because) who knows what’ll happen. I do hate the timing. I enjoy being here (at Southwest), but I can’t pass up this one-in-a-lifetime experience.”
Mills said he felt playing for Estrella De Corgi would help his coaching career. “I would love to learn more about soccer,” he said, “just to get a different perspective. I love coaching and I know I have a lot to learn (so) I think it’ll help in the long run (by) showing (collegiate) players that I’ve played at the next level and have learned from a different kind of coaching.”
Mills admits that, as of now, he does not know a lot about the team and his future teammates. But, he did say that he has “met the coach and some of the guys. They are unbelievable athletes. They are looking to win the championship this May and hopefully I can help them out with that.”
While in Peru, Mills plans to continue working toward his Master’s degree and hope to return to Southwest at some point.
Head soccer coach Drew Gallant realizes going to Peru is “a great opportunity (for Zach). The plan is, as of right now, that he’ll be gone during the spring, playing professionally, and get a lot of experience and another view of the soccer world.”
Director of Athletics Dr. Bill Ashley said of Mills, “We wish Zach good luck going forward and we appreciate his two seasons here with the Southwest soccer teams. I feel he has a great opportunity to continue his learning with playing professional soccer as well as taking a few graduate courses in a different country. We feel he will be a better coach down the road.”
Ashley also said “We’re going to miss him at Southwest also as head of the men’s residence hall. He performed quite well (in that capacity). He was a good example for our young men in the residence hall and we’re going to miss his leadership in that position, as well.”