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Original Issue

Jeff Mullins, Guard-Forward MARCH 31, 1969

Former Duke basketball star Jeff Mullins turned 60 this spring,
but he is still a fixture on the courts near his home in
Mooresville, N.C., on the outskirts of Charlotte. Those courts,
however, are clay, not hardwood. An avid tennis player, Mullins
stays in shape by working on his game four to five times a week.
"I'm still fortunate enough to be able to move around pretty
well," he says. "There was a time when I preferred golf, but you
reach a point where you realize you need to start getting some

Mullins came to North Carolina in 1960 from Kentucky, where he
had been named the state's Mr. Basketball after a stellar career
at Lafayette High in Lexington. In three seasons playing forward
at Duke, he averaged 21.9 points per game, and in 1962-63 and
'63-64 he helped lead the Blue Devils to consecutive Final Four
appearances, the first in school history. As a senior he was a
first-team All-America and the ACC player of the year. That
summer he was a member of the gold-medal-winning U.S. Olympic
team in Tokyo.

Because of his height, the 6'4" Mullins had to learn to play
guard in the NBA. He averaged 12.2 minutes and 5.1 points in 88
games with the St. Louis Hawks, who had drafted him with the
fifth pick in the first round. He was taken by Chicago in the
1966 expansion draft and traded later that year to San
Francisco, where for the next 10 seasons he provided a steadying
influence in the Warriors' backcourt. He earned five All-Star
selections, averaged 16.2 points per game and capped his career
by helping the team, by then known as Golden State, win the 1975
NBA championship.

After his retirement in 1976 Mullins stayed out of basketball
for nearly a decade, running a successful Chevrolet dealership
in Apex, N.C. In 1985 he took over as the athletic director and
basketball coach at UNC-Charlotte, inheriting a team that had
gone 5-23 the previous season. In his first spin with the 49ers,
Mullins went 8-20. That would be his only losing record. His
teams compiled a regular-season record of 174-122 over the nine
years that followed, earning three NCAA and two NIT tournament

Mullins lives in Mooresville with his wife, Candy, to whom he
has been married for 35 years. When he isn't playing tennis, he
works as an independent commercial real estate developer,
leasing and managing shopping center and office space. He and
Candy recently purchased a winter home in Vero Beach, Fla. "I've
slowed down a little bit," he says, "but I'm still busier than I
really want to be."

--Mark Beech

B/W PHOTO: RICH CLARKSON (COVER) RELIABLE Mullins helped Duke reach back-to-back Final Fours, averaging 22.2 points a game.

COLOR PHOTO: GARRETT W. ELLWOOD Mullins won an NBA title as a backcourt star for the Warriors, but now he's a regular on the tennis court.