Rick Cleveland began his duties as the executive director of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in May of 2012, 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.
Bill Blackwell is the latest addition to our staff at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. Bill joins us as the Chief Operating Officer and will be responsible for day to day operations of the Museum and staff. 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.
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.
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.