RIP: Billy Mustin, former Rebel football great, Vaught pal

Billy Mustin
Billy Mustin. (Photo courtesy of Ole Miss)
Rick Cleveland
Rick Cleveland

Former Ole Miss football great Billy Mustin, who later became Director of the Ole Miss Loyalty Foundation, died earlier this week at 87. A graveside service will be held today at 2 p.m. at Oxford Memorial Cemetery.

Mustin, who played for Coach John Vaught and then served him as an assistant coach, was one Vaught’s closest friends and often a golf partner. They kept up a hilarious, running commentary when they played, to which I can personally attest.

When I was working on a book with Vaught, we played a round one day at the university golf course. Vaught was 93. (Vaught sank one shot from off the green that day and hit the pin three times from off the putting service.) Did I say he was 93?

Here’s how the round began:

Mustin to Vaught: “Well, how many strokes are you spotting me today?”

Vaught: “Hell, Mustin, I am already spotting you more than 20 years. That’s all you’re getting.”

Later in the round, Vaught used his fairway wood to make himself a perfect tee in the fairway. Said Mustin: “Now you make sure you get that ball sitting up just the way you want it, Coach…”

A native of Canton, Billy Mustin was an exceptional running back who played left half at 155 pounds in both the single wing and “T” formations, Mustin broke in during the post-World War II Charlie Conerly era, 1946-47, and had sensational years during the school’s first Split-T seasons as a junior and senior.

His best statistical year was his 1949 senior season.  From scrimmage, he netted 555 yards on 91 carries for a 6.1-yard average, scoring six TDs.  He scored on a 59-yard run against TCU and a 50-yard run against Mississippi State.  Mustin also returned an Auburn punt 65 yards for a touchdown and a Tennessee kickoff 65 yards.  During his last two seasons he averaged 19.5 yards on 16 punt returns, completed 13 of 27 passes for 140 yards and a touchdown and caught 21 passes for 409 yards and two touchdowns.

I never saw him play football, but can verify Billy Mustin was one fine guy to have in your foursome.

Memorial contributions may be made to The Ole Miss Athletics Foundation, P.O. Box 1519, Oxford, MS 38655.

One thought on “RIP: Billy Mustin, former Rebel football great, Vaught pal”

  1. Played on Coach Mustin’s Marauders ,the redshirt offense in 1971.What a great guy to have as a coach.You always knew he was interested in you.A very positive,comedic personality.will always miss you coach.

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