Former WKU Athletic Director Lewis Mills Passes Away

Lewis Mills, who served as Athletic Director at WKU from 1995-99, passed away Wednesday at his home in Richmond, Va. He was 74.

Mills came to the Hill in 1995 after making his mark in the world of athletics. Prior to taking over WKU's athletic program, Mills served as WKU's Director of Development for University Athletics, overseeing the activities of the Hilltopper Athletic Foundation, for 18 months.

Mills' career in intercollegiate athletics started in 1963, when he began his tenure as head basketball and golf coach at the University of Richmond. He left Richmond in 1974 to become the Director of Athletics at VCU, a position he held until 1986.

While at VCU, Mills served on the finance and television committees of the Sun Belt Conference. He worked as chairman of the Sun Belt's All-Sports Committee, and he was the chairman of the SBC athletics directors.

Mark Berman of The Roanoke Times and John O'Connor of the Richmond Times-Dispatch paid tribute to Mills.

Mills' obituary from the Bennett Funeral Home in Glen Allen, Va.:
MILLS, Lewis Benson, 74, passed away Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at his residence after a long illness. Born in Roanoke, Va., his early years were marked with athletics. Louie graduated from Jefferson High School in 1955, where he was co-captain of the state champion basketball team and selected 1st team all-state as a guard. He was a scholarship athlete at Virginia Tech in basketball and played for the late Chuck Noe. Louie was inducted into the Virginia Tech Hall of Fame in 1991.

He became the youngest Division 1 basketball coach at the age of 26 for the University of Richmond in 1963, and continued in that role until 1974. He spent the next 12 years at Virginia Commonwealth University as the Director of Athletics. Louie retired in 1999 after serving as Director of Athletics at Western Kentucky University.

He is survived by his beloved friend, Irene Motley; his children, Carrie Grow, Scott Mills and Meredith Mega and their mother, Diann Mills Mitchell; and nine grandchildren, McLane and Fletcher Grow, Winston, Peyton, Olivia and Alana Mills, Devan, Luke and Owen Mega.

A memorial service will be at held at 3 p.m. Sunday, October 16. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to Bon Secours Hospice, 8580 Magellan Pkwy., Richmond, Va. 23227.