Rick Cleveland began his new duties as the executive director of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum on May 1, but he is no stranger to Mississippi sports or Mississsippians.
A native of Hattiesburg, Rick he 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.
Margaret Ferriss White, a Cleveland native and Delta State graduate, joined the staff of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in 1995, one year before the museum opened.
She is the daughter of the legendary Boo Ferriss, a 1964 Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame inductee, which explains, at least in part, Margaret’s passion for the museum. She says the favorite part of her job is guiding school groups through the museum and hearing the “oohs” and “ahhs” when they enter the main arena.
Marketing Director/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 Marketing Director 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. Culley officiates high school football in his spare time.