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High school teammates now coaching together at Clay

By Ricky Mills

For The Tribune

CLAY — Wetumpka High School Class of 1999 teammates Chris Mills and Obed Ellis are back together again on the playing field, this time as fellow coaches at Clay-Chalkville High School.

Mills will coach the wide receivers while Ellis will be in charge of the offensive line.

They began playing sports together at the Wetumpka YMCA in elementary school, but began their football together at Wetumpka Junior High.

Chris Mills, left, with Obed Ellis
submitted photo

Dwayne Jones was their eighth-grade head coach in 1995

“I knew these young men and their families even before they began playing for us, so our expectations were pretty high,” Jones said. “They exceeded all those expectations. They worked hard in the weight room, the offseason and in the classroom. They were both active in our Fellowship of Christian Athletes group, and just solid young men all around. Their success in life and on the field doesn’t surprise me, and I am extremely proud of both them.”

Mills and Ellis played on the offensive line at Wetumpka High School. Ellis went on to play at Troy University, while Mills played at the University of West Alabama.

Ellis has coached at Bob Jones, Wetumpka and Prattville. Mills has coached at Sumter Academy, Wetumpka, Hoover, Huntingdon College, Jeff Davis and Pinson Valley.

Huntingdon College Athletics Director and head football coach Mike Turk coached Ellis at Troy and was on staff with Mills at Huntingdon.

“The great thing about our sport is being a part of the ‘team,’” Turk said. “Both these guys really understand the ‘team’ aspect of not only the game of football, but also being a part of a coaching staff. Teammates are always bonded, something that cannot be broken. The fact that these teammates are back together on a coaching staff is both special and rare. They are both fine men and excellent mentors, which speaks to the leadership they received from their parents and coaches while they were growing up.  Wetumpka should be very proud of both of them.”

Clay-Chalkville head coach Jerry Hood said Mills is doing “an outstanding job” and Ellis is “a great fit for us.”

“Obed and Chris definitely keep the offensive room jumping,” Hood said. “They are almost like brothers. I am very proud to have them at Clay-Chalkville.”

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