Word hit Salyersville last week that a man who had been an integral part of starting football in Magoffin County had passed away.
Ronald Lee Mills, age 79, passed away on April 19, 2022, with his wife and four children surviving him. No formal obit was posted by the funeral home, per the family’s wishes.
While not originally from Magoffin County, and not living here at the time of his death, in the 1980s Mills was part of a small group that pushed to start a football league in the county, being the first coach of a non-school affiliated league, which inevitably led to the sport being picked up by the schools soon afterward.
John C. “Jack” Collins, who was also part of that group, told the Independent, “Ron Mills was one of the five people who started football in Magoffin County with a non-school sponsored team called the Hawks and the next year the school system adopted the football program. He was one of the first coaches and was energetic and always motivational to the kids.”
The Hawks was started in 1986, playing one season before Magoffin County Schools started their own Hornet football program in 1987.