After graduation, Milstead spent eight years in the NFL, beginning as a fifth-round draft pick by the Dallas Cowboys. In 1994, he won a Super Bowl as a member of the San Francisco 49ers. He later served as an offensive line coach at both North Carolina Central University and Delaware State University, and most recently, as the head coach at La Plata High School in Maryland.
Former Delaware State Football Player Hired as New Head Coach
By Myles Beverly
Delaware State University has won the lottery with the hiring of Rod Milstead, as the new head football coach. Milstead attended Lackey High School, where he ran track and played as a two-time all-state offensive lineman, helping to lead his team to a Class B State Championship in 1986. He participated in the Big 33 Football Classic game between the Maryland and Pennsylvania all-stars.
Milstead accepted a football scholarship from Delaware State University, where he became a four-year starter at right guard. As a junior, he helped Delaware State average 298.7 rushing yards per game and 5.2 yards per rush. He finished the season as the NCAA Division I-AA No. 2-ranked rushing offense, including a school record of 518-yard rushing performance against Towson State University.
As a senior, Milstead helped his team register 380 yards rushing against Northeastern University. He never missed a game or a practice, while making 42 straight starts at right guard. He was selected first-team All-MEAC two straight years and also received Division I-AA All – American honors in 1991.
Coach Milstead graduated from then-Delaware State College in 1992, with a degree in Sociology and Criminal Justice, and was an extremely skilled offensive lineman and team captain, as the Hornets won the MEAC Championship in three of his four years on the field. The University inducted Milstead into the DSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003.
Interim DSU Athletics Director, Mary Hill, said Coach Milstead understands the Hornet athletics culture as only an alum could. “Equally critical, he understands exactly how driven our players, our campus, and our alumni are to field a competitive, winning team,” she added.
Coach Milstead credits his own career as a Del State student-athlete, underlining setting the foundation as his motivational approach. “This is very personal for me,” the new head coach informed the Hornet. “Rejuvenating the football program and making winners of our student-athletes in the classroom, in the community, as well as on the field – is my top priority,” Milstead concluded.
“Football sits in a special place in the heart of the Delaware State University community,” said interim DSU President, Wilma Mishoe. “A big part of our family comes together on game day in the stands and in spirit across the country – to cheer for the team and to represent Hornet Pride.”
To end, President Mishoe stated, “we are always careful to remember that student comes first in the phrase “student-athlete.” I am particularly pleased to know that Coach Milstead is wholly committed to that principle.”
*A version of this story appeared earlier in DSU News.