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COACHES

E.J. Mills

Head Coach

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A four-time NESCAC Coach of the Year, E.J. Mills has led Amherst to a 55-9 record and four undefeated seasons since 2009, and has solidified himself as one of the top coaches and defensive minds in the country.

Entering his 25th season on the Amherst sidelines and 21st as head coach, Mills has been a part of 141 victories for the Purple & White. He came to Amherst in 1993 and served as a defensive coordinator through the 1996 season, working with former Yale head coach Jack Siedlecki helped the team improve its record in each of his four years as an assistant. When Siedlecki made his move to lead the Bulldogs, Mills was named the interim head coach for the 1997 season, and has been at the helm ever since.

Amherst finished 7-1 three times during Mills' first 12 seasons, and broke through in 2009 by posting its first 8-0 record since 1984, as Mills captured several postseason awards including an AFCA Division III Region 1 Coach of the Year selection. Since then, the Purple & White has gone undefeated three times (2011, 2014 and 2015), and has captured four more NESCAC titles to increase the total to six. In 2011, Amherst led the league in scoring offense, turnover margin, and sacks en route to 13 All-Conference selections and another NESCAC Coach of the Year honor for Mills. In 2014, the squad boasted one of the top defenses in the country as it led Division III in scoring defense (8.9 ppg) and ranked 15th in total defense (273.1 ypg). Amherst racked up 11 All-NESCAC selections, including another league coach of the year honor for Mills, and also received the 2014 ECAC Team of Distinction Award.

Matt Ballard

Offensive Coordinator

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The 2017 season marks Matt Ballard's fourth as offensive coordinator as he enters his 14th year on the Amherst sidelines. He will also continue to serve as the offensive line coach, a position he fulfilled for the past ten years. Prior to taking over offensive line responsibilities, Ballard served as the Purple & White's defensive line coach and special teams coordinator.

Amherst's 2008 offensive line was one of the best in program history, as the Purple & White allowed a Division III-best five sacks throughout the year under Ballard's tutelage. The next three years were equally impressive, as Amherst led the NESCAC in fewest sacks allowed in 2009 (8), 2010 (7) and 2011 (6). In 2015, the offensive line paved the way for the top rushing attack in the conference, as it averaged a stellar 201.5 yards per game.

Ballard joined Amherst after five seasons as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, three seasons as the head coach at Cathedral High School in nearby Springfield, Mass., another three-season stint as the offensive line coach at WPI, and two years as a graduate assistant at the University of Albany. While at Albany, Ballard worked on the same staff as Amherst head coach E.J. Mills and earned a master’s degree in education. Ballard graduated from Albany in 1990 and was a two-year starter at offensive tackle, earning CoSIDA Academic All-District honors as a senior.

Luke Bussard

Defensive Coordinator

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Luke Bussard enters his 13th season at Amherst and will once again serve as the team's defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. The 2009 season was Bussard's first attempt at coordinating the defense, and he responded brilliantly by helping the Purple & White lead all of Division III in rushing defense and sacks per game, also finishing third in the nation in scoring defense and fourth in red zone defense. During another 8-0 season in 2011, Bussard spearheaded a defense that surrendered only 12.6 points per game, led the NESCAC in sacks (28) and ranked third in total defense. In 2012, the Purple & White boasted the conference's best run defense (110.6), while ranking second in the league in points (14.9) and yards allowed per game (281.0). The 2013 season was even more impressive as the stingy Amherst defense allowed a league-low 11.8 points per game, while leading the NESCAC in sacks (22) and interceptions (20), and ranking second in yards per game (297.9), while the unit led the country in scoring defense (8.9 ppg) and ranked 15th in total defense (273.1 ypg) en route to another perfect 8-0 season in 2014. Finishing the 2015 season with a perfect 8-0 record once again, Bussard helped the Purple & White finish first in the NESCAC in points allowed per game (9.9), and total points allowed (79); and second in yards per game (293.6), and rushing yards per game (90.3).

Prior to Amherst, Bussard coached for three seasons at Norwich University, where he guided the football team to a pair of ECAC bowl games and also served as an assistant baseball coach, taking on the associate head baseball coaching role in his final season. Before Norwich, he was the director of student activities at the Tilton School in Tilton, N.H., where he coached football and baseball as well. A native of Wilmington, Del., Bussard earned his MBA from Norwich in 2006. He and his wife, Natalie Blais, reside in nearby Sunderland with their two sons, Shane and Danny.

Eddy Augustin

Special Teams Coordinator

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The 2016 season will be Eddy Augustin's tenth with the Amherst staff, as he will once again work with the Purple & White defensive line and special teams. Under Augustin's leadership, Amherst's 2009 defensive line allowed only 50.9 rushing yards and picked up 4.75 sacks per game, with both averages leading all of Division III. In 2010 his special teams units led the NESCAC in kickoff coverage, touchbacks, field goal conversion rate and PAT percentage, also finishing second in punting average. The 2011 season was equally successful for Augustin, as the Purple & White led the league in sacks (28) and kickoff coverage. In 2013, the Amherst defensive line helped hold opponents to 99.1 yards per game on the ground while recording a league-high 22 sacks, and the special teams unit boasted the league's top placekicker. The defensive line totaled 21 sacks to finish second in the conference in 2014, while the kicking game ranked second in both field goals made (7) and average kickoff (62.3 yards per kick). In the 2015 season, the Purple & White led the NESCAC in field goal percentage (90%) while recording 18 sacks.

A native of Malvern, Pa., Augustin majored in psychology at Millersville University of Pennsylvania, where he was a member of the football and wrestling teams. Augustin’s coaching résumé includes stints at Las Lomas High School in California, Norwich University, Mansfield University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins University, and at his college alma mater.

Off the field, Augustin spent time as an Academic Athletic Advising and Compliance Intern at Sonoma State University and as an Academic Athletic Advising and Recruiting Intern at University of Pennsylvania. Earning a master’s degree in sports psychology at John F. Kennedy University in California. Augustin, Augustin also coaches Amherst's club wrestling team. He and his wife, Georgina, reside in Amherst with their daughters, Morgan and Avelynn Sophia.

Adam Banks

Wide Receivers

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Adam Banks returns to the Amherst sidelines for a seventh season after joining the staff to coach the wide receivers in 2011. He played an important role in helping the Purple & White lead the NESCAC in scoring offense (29.9 ppg) during his first season, with five players recording at least one touchdown reception as part of a balanced receiving corps.

Banks came to Amherst after completing a four-year stint as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Georgetown University. Serving as a part-time defensive assistant in his first year with the Hoyas, Banks was promoted to a full-time assistant in May of 2008. He worked with the team's running backs and wide receivers during the rest of his tenure at Georgetown, while also assisting in head coach Kevin Kelly's recruiting efforts.

A four-year letterwinner with the Hoyas, the Monroeville, Pa., native appeared in 47 games as a defensive back, amassing 84 tackles (61 solo), six interceptions and 13 pass deflections. Following graduation, the English major interned at Virginia's Potomac School, working in the athletic department offices, while also serving as a coach for football, basketball and track & field.

Mitchell Thompson

Wide Receivers / Social Media Coordinator

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Thompson returns to Amherst for a third season after spending 2016 as a defensive backs coach and defensive coordinator at Oberlin College.

During his previous stint with Amherst (2014, 2015), Thompson coached the Mammoth outside linebacker corps, including two All-NESCAC selections, in back-to-back undefeated seasons.

A four-year letter-winner with the Generals, Thompson appeared in 41 games at defensive back for Washington and Lee University before graduating in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in European History. Racking up 152 total tackles, the Memphis, Tenn. native finished his collegiate career with eight tackles for loss, three interceptions and 15 pass deflections and was a two-time all-conference selection.

Owen Watrous

Defensive Assistant

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A 2016 graduate of Ithaca College with a degree in Business Management, Watrous enters his first season as a defensive assistant for the Mammoths following a one year stint at UMass-Amherst aiding the athletic administration staff. A four year member of the Bombers’ offensive line, Watrous comes to the Pioneer Valley as a two-time Empire 8 conference champion and has appeared in two NCAA Championship tournaments.

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