The Wolfpacker

January 2017

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 47 of 103

48 ■ THE WOLFPACKER WHEREARETHEYNOW? Mills finished with three top-15 finishes at the ACC Championships. He was tied for 31st in 1980 (228), tied for sixth (220) in 1981 and 14th in 1982 (222) before breaking through his senior year. Sykes recalled how Mills made a strong improvement in his golf game between his sophomore and junior years at NC State. "Nolan came here as a very accomplished golfer out of high school and played semi-regularly as a fresh- man, but as a sophomore, he started to blossom," Sykes said. "He got a lot more seri- ous about it after his sopho- more year. By his last year, he had one of the best seasons that I can remember anybody having." Sykes pointed out how unusual Mills' climb was to All-American status. "He went from not being an All-Ameri- can for three years to being an All-Ameri- can, and that is almost impossible," Sykes said. "He was always about the team. That last year, you can't play that great without playing well in all areas of the game. He was hard-nosed and determined." Mills almost ended up playing golf at NC State's rival, 30 minutes down the road in Chapel Hill, which featured freshman golfer Davis Love III and junior John Inman, both future PGA Tour pros. He recalled that Wake Forest also had a quality program with future pro Billy Andrade. "I liked Richard, but I was going to North Carolina," Mills said. "At the last minute, there was a little conflict., Carolina didn't offer me what they originally offered me. "I got a call from Richard about an hour later and com- mitted to NC State. It was a great decision for me." Mills tries to get back to Raleigh for the occasional Wolfpack football or bas- ketball game and is an avid Carolina Panthers fan. He still cherishes NC State memories from when he was a student, which included a title in a different sport. "It is hard to be an NC State fan, but we won the national championship my senior year in basketball, and we had some great basketball teams my whole time at NC State," Mills said. He also has gotten to view Lonnie Poole Golf Course, while watching his son play. He also has played the course. "The campus is so different now since I was there," Mills said. "The Centennial Campus is just awesome. The golf course sitting up there on the hill like that with a view of Raleigh was really neat. "They made it happen, and I'm glad they did." ■ Mills (left) and Sykes, NC State's 44-year head men's golf coach, watched as Mills Jr. competed at the Kiaweh Island (S.C.) Invitational in the younger Mills' career debut. PHOTO COURTESY NOLAN MILLS Land Planning | Engineering | Surveying | Project Management GIS Deliverables | Geotechnical | Full Design Build W O LF P A C K N . C . S T A T E Commercial Municipal Residential Institutional Federal 151 Poole Road Suite 100 Belville North Carolina 28451 910-383-1044 p | 910-383-1045 f PROUDLY SERVING THE SOUTHEAST SINCE 1997 WOLFPACK CLUB

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