Special Group Joins Ole Miss M-Club Hall of Fame
Sept. 27, 2014
OXFORD, Miss. - Six outstanding individuals were honored with their induction into the M-Club Hall of Fame Friday night. The 2014 class is headlined by the late Chucky Mullins, whose life and influenced is being celebrated this weekend, including the renaming of Coliseum Drive to Chucky Mullins Drive.
"It's awesome," said Carver Phillips, Mullins' guardian. "It's really a dream come true with the dedication of Chucky Mullins Drive and then the induction into the M-Club Hall of Fame. Chucky would be smiling. He would have thought it was a great honor."
The other five members of the 2014 M-Club Hall of Fame Class include Julie Link Clark (volleyball, 1983-86), Armintie Price Herrington (basketball, 2003-07), Burney Hutchinson (baseball, 1999-2002), Ken Lucas (football, 1997-2000) and Chip Sullivan (golf, 1984-86).
The M-Club Alumni Chapter also recognized former football player Larry Johnson (1961-63) with its Lotterhos Service Award. Established in 2008, this award is based on leadership, dedication, service and commitment to the M-Club.
The Hall of Fame recipients, along with former Chucky Mullins Courage Award winners, will be recognized on the field at the Memphis game. An already special honor for the inductees was made more special by joining Mullins in this year's class.
"What an honor to be inducted in the same class as Chucky," Sullivan said. "What a great inspiration he has been and will continue to be."
His influence on the football field was cut far too short, but the courage with which he faced life will never be forgotten. Chucky Mullins was paralyzed after making a tackle against Vanderbilt on Oct. 28, 1989, during his redshirt-freshman season. Mullins had proven himself as a hard worker and a valuable player at nickel back and had started making big plays on defense for the Rebels.
But it would be Mullins' determination and courage for life after the injury that made a lasting impact. He was visited in the hospital by such dignitaries as President George H.W. Bush and was able to return to class at Ole Miss in January 1991. He suddenly stopped breathing and died in May 1991, but his memory lives on through the Chucky Mullins Courage Award, which is presented annually to an Ole Miss defensive player who wears Mullins' retired No. 38 jersey in his honor.
"He was a fighter," said Athletics Director Ross Bjork at the Chucky Mullins Drive dedication. "He wasn't a guy who automatically received a college football scholarship. He sat in Coach (Billy) Brewer's office and he pledged his name that he was worthy and then he earned it. He didn't have the speed of a lot of players, but he made up for it with heart. That's a cliché that we use in sports too often, but it applies when talking about Chucky."
Link enjoyed an excellent career at Ole Miss, both on the volleyball court and in the classroom. The first Rebel to record 1,000 kills and digs, Link holds the school record for career kills in the sideout scoring era with 1,465 and ranks first in service aces (251) and block assists (309).
"I loved being a part of the volleyball program at Ole Miss," said Link, the first volleyball player inducted into the M-Club Hall of Fame. "It's a special honor because I know there were great players before me and and there have been great players after me."
One of the all-time greats to suit up for Ole Miss Basketball, Price was a force to be reckoned with during her days in Oxford. The two-time team captain and two-time SEC Defensive Player of the Year led the Rebels to the 2007 NCAA Elite Eight as a senior and received All-America accolades from Kodak/WBCA and ESPN.com.
"This is a great day to be a part of the induction," Price said. "I'm happy to be back with my Ole Miss family. It's an amazing feeling that every time you can come back here you feel like family. I want people to know that I'm still able to around and offer my support to Ole Miss basketball."
A four-year letterman and two-time All-SEC outfielder for the Rebels, Hutchinson became the first All-America selection of the Mike Bianco era when he was named a second-team selection by Baseball Weekly in 2001. Hutchinson helped power the Rebels to an NCAA Tournament appearance that season, scoring 69 runs - the third-most in a single season in program history.
"It's really humbling," Hutchinson said. "It's a great honor. I'm proud of the career I had here and I'm proud to be a part of this class and join the other members in the hall of fame."
One of the top defensive backs in college football, Lucas earned first team All-America honors from Rivals.com in 2000 when he led the NCAA and set a school record with 30 passes defended. Lucas was also a first team All-SEC pick, while leading the Rebels with five interceptions that season.
"It's always great to get back to Ole Miss," said Lucas, who enjoyed a nine-year pro career with the Seattle Seahawks and Carolina Panthers. "Those were some of the best days of my life. Being inducted into the hall of fame never crossed my mind as one of my personal goals, but one of the things I always wanted to do was for people to recognize my talents. I wanted to be considered one of best in the country at what I did."
A three-year letterman for the Rebels, Sullivan competed in three straight NCAA Golf Championships during his time in Oxford and was a member of Ole Miss' 1984 SEC Championship squad that earned the school's first NCAA Championships appearance. Sullivan also earned All-SEC first team honors in 1986 en route to the SEC Championship individual title.
"It's pretty surreal to be back here," Sullivan said. "This place has changed so much for the better. This school was so inspiration to me personally to be a great father, great husband and a great human being. It was also great to meet Chris Malloy, our new golf coach, and see his energy."
In addition to helping the Rebels go 26-3-2 with a pair of SEC titles and a share of a national title in his three seasons as a player, Johnson was also involved on campus as president of the student M-Club and vice president of his social fraternity.
As an alumnus, Johnson helped develop the idea and execution of the "Walk of Champions" and established a scholarship endowment with more than $103,000. He was an executive with BellSouth for 33 years before retiring in 2000.
"It's fantastic because I'm being honored for doing something I love to do," Johnson said. "I was initiation 53 years ago into the M-Club, which has been one of the most important things in my life during that time as a student-athlete and then as an alumnus."
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