Bill Blackwell is the latest addition to our staff at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. Bill joined us as the Chief Operating Officer in April of 2012 and became the museum’s 3rd Executive Director in January 2016. Formerly he was the VP/GM of the Jackson Mets and Generals and spent 33 years in professional baseball. He returns to Jackson excited to join the other staff members in telling the story of the rich heritage of sports in our state.
Rick Cleveland has served as the executive director of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum since May of 2012 and moved into his role as Museum Historian in January 2016.
A native of Hattiesburg, Rick is the most decorated sports journalist in Mississippi history. In more than 40 years as a sports editor and columnist, he won scores of state, regional and national awards for his writing and reporting. In 2011 he became the first sports writer ever to be honored with the prestigious Richard Wright Lifetime Achievement Award for Literary Excellence. Previous winners include such authors as Eudora Welty, Richard Ford and Willie Morris.
Cleveland, the author of three books, also received the Distinguished Mississippian Award from the Mississippi Press Association’s Education Foundation in 2000.
Events Coordinator/Office Manager
Lulu Maness, a native of Clarksdale, volunteered at the museum during its
first year of operation before joining the staff as office manager in 1997. Lulu, the goddaughter of Hall of Famer Charlie Conerly, attended Ole Miss. She is currently the museum’s Office Manager and organizer of many of the museum’s special events, including the C Spire Conerly Trophy banquet.
A native of Clarksdale and a USM graduate, Cully has been with the museum full-time for the past six years and as a volunteer for six years before that. This is a second career for Turner, who retired after 31 years as a firefighter for several different Mississippi fire departments. Cully officiates high school football in his spare time.
Andrea is a 2012 graduate of Ole Miss with a business degree in marketing and management. She began as intern with the Museum in June of 2012 and has now been the full-time Marketing Director since November of 2013. Andrea is a huge sports fan and brings a lot of energy to our staff.