Leroy Mullins, a staple within the Ole Miss Athletics program for three decades, spent most of his professional career on UM’s campus caring for student-athletes. He was known as a servant-leader who used his professional training and heroic exploits to heal and restore injured bodies.
Mullins died earlier this year at the age of 79. To honor his life and his service to Ole Miss Athletics and hundreds of student-athletes, former players and friends have launched the Leroy Mullins Master of Science in Athletic Training Scholarship Endowment.
Once funded, this scholarship will be awarded to students pursuing a master’s degree in the new degree program established by the School of Applied Sciences in 2021. The MSAT program is designed to provide students with diverse academic and clinical experiences, including hands-on training with Southeastern Conference athletes in state-of-the-art facilities, that will create a well-rounded athletic training professional.
The name Leroy Mullins is already legendary within Ole Miss Athletics. With this scholarship, generations of future students will learn about his contributions.
Mullins joined the Rebels staff on Feb. 1, 1975, as head athletic trainer and worked to help Ole Miss student-athletes for 29 years. He spent three years as the director of sports medicine and served as director of insurance and wellness from 1996-1997. Toward the end of his career, from 1998-2000, he enjoyed a second stint as head athletic trainer.
However, to so many former athletes, Mullins was much more than an athletic trainer.
“Leroy was a walking, talking and living apostle who cared deeply for his athletes and staff,” says Deano Orr, a running back and linebacker for the Rebels football team in the late-1980s and early-1990s. “He was a light in a training room that could have been very dark, as many injured players felt fear, disgust, anger and disappointment.”
Leroy Mullins was on the football field with Chucky Mullins shortly after he made the tackle that paralyzed him. The two men remained close for the rest of Chucky's life.
During his career, Mullins was very active in the National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) and lectured on athletic injuries at conferences and meetings all over the country. In 1994, he was the inaugural recipient of NATA’s Most Distinguished Trainer Award. Two years later, he received NATA’s most prestigious honor, the Tim Kerin Award.
In 2001, Mullins was honored with the Contribution to Amateur Football Award from the Ole Miss Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, while also receiving the Award of Merit from the Southeast Athletic Trainers' Association. He was also inducted into the Mississippi Athletic Trainers' Association Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Southeast Athletic Trainers' Association Hall of Fame in 2014.
Help honor the legacy of a great man who cared for UM’s student-athletes by empowering generations of students to follow in his footsteps! Please make a gift today!
“Leroy's legacy will live on through each athlete he treated, each staff member he trained and mentored, each person he ministered to, and each future student who accepts the call to pursue athletic training at our beloved university,” Orr says. “Leroy Mullins embodied everything great about Ole Miss, and I am honored to support this scholarship program. Please join me.”
For more information, contact Brett Barefoot in the Office of University Development at firstname.lastname@example.org or 662-915-2711.
The Mullins family: Leroy, Barbara, and their children Tim and Renee, all shared a love for the University of Mississippi and its people, whether in the 1980s (left) or more recently.