Skip to main content

Sam Mills - Hall of Honor | Carolina Panthers -


Sam Mills

Sam Mills was inducted into the Hall in 1998 after he completed his playing career with the Panthers. Mills had a number of memorable moments in a Panthers uniform including an interception return for a touchdown that spurred Carolina to the first win in team history in 1995, and his interception against Dallas sealed the Panthers win in the NFC divisional playoff following the 1996 season.

Mills played 15 years as a professional, starting 171-of-181 NFL games and earning five Pro Bowl selections. Mills appeared in his final Pro Bowl as a representative of the Panthers in 1996 at the age of 37.

Mills led his team in tackles 10 times and eclipsed the 100-tackle plateau in eight seasons. After being signed as a free agent by Carolina in 1995, he became the cornerstone of the Panthers defense and was the only player to start every game during the Panthers first three seasons. He eventually went on to coach the Panthers as an assistant for seven seasons before losing his battle with cancer in 2005. 

Mills implored the 2003 team to "Keep Pounding" before a home playoff game against Dallas and that phrase has become a cornerstone of the Panthers culture and identity.

Watch: Sam Mills "A Football Life"

Former Panthers linebacker and coach Sam Mills coined the phrase, 'Keep Pounding' during a pre-game speech on Jan. 2, 2004.