Former UW-EC star knows how to win
Jill Millis, the new head fastpitch softball coach at DCTC, has sports in her blood. Her father played basketball in high school and fastpitch later on. Her mother competed in the first ever Wisconsin state track and field meet. Her older sister went to state as a track athlete. Her younger sister plays softball for the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Eagles. Her four brothers played football at UW-L. One played baseball, too, batting left and playing first base. He helped train Millis, also a natural lefty and first baseman, as she was growing up.
“I played Little League Baseball with the boys and actually made the All-Star team,” Millis said. “I also played fullback and linebacker on the boy’s intramural football team in seventh and eighth grade.”
After graduating in 2004 as class valedictorian from Black River Falls High School in the Wisconsin town of the same name, Millis, then Jill Janke, went on to earn two Bachelor of Arts degrees, one in public relations and one in history, from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, graduating magna cum laude. She earned a master’s in sports management from Ithaca College in Ithaca, N.Y.
As a UW-EC Blugold, Millis was four-year All-Conference and All-Region in softball. She also played on the 2008 NCAA DIII National Championship softball team. Her walk-off homer clinched the title. An excerpt from the UW-EC news release reads as follows: “Jill Janke (Sr.-Black River Falls, Wis.) capped the Blugolds national title with a two-out, line-drive home run blast to right field in the bottom of the ninth.”
In 2008, she won both the Judy Kruckman WIAC Scholar-Athlete Award and the UW-Eau Claire Super Six Award. Millis served as assistant softball coach at UW-EC in 2008–2009 and at Ithaca College in 2009–2010. She is elated about taking over as head coach of Blue Knights fastpitch.
“I’m very excited about establishing a great program at DCTC,” Millis said. “I have playing and coaching experience with two of the best Division III coaches in the country with Leslie Huntington at Eau Claire and Deb Pallozzi at Ithaca. [Both have won national titles.] I know what it takes to be a top-caliber softball team. When people hear about Dakota County Technical College, I want to make sure they are also thinking about our fastpitch softball program.”
As a fall 2010 intern at the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, Millis has gained experience writing media releases and features, managing the MIAC website, and creating graphics and logos. She resides with her new husband, Nick, in Shakopee, Minn.
For information about DCTC fastpitch softball or if you’re a player interested in becoming a Blue Knight, contact Head Coach Jill Millis at 651-423-8677 or Athletic Coordinator Cam Stoltz at 651-423-8462. Blue Knights softball will compete as an independent at the NJCAA Div. III level in the 2010–2011 season.