Manley Mixon is dead at 72

Marvin Westwestwords

Another old Vol is gone.

Manley Mixon, defensive end for the 1970 Volunteers, has died at age 72.

Manley Mixon (UT sports information)

A celebration of life is planned for Saturday (6/6) at 2 p.m. at Austin & Bell Funeral Home in Hendersonville. Mixon is survived by his wife of 48 years, Glinda, and sons Bo and Josh.

Manley battled Alzheimer’s for eight years. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his honor to the Pat Summit Foundation, 520 W. Summit Hill Drive, Suite 1101, Knoxville, TN 37902

Mixon was born in Orangeburg, S.C., into a military family and got a childhood geography lesson. His father was an Army colonel and the family lived for a time in Okinawa, Japan, and at various bases in the United States. They settled in Nashville.

Manley, a really tough quarterback at Hillwood High, also excelled in basketball and baseball. He grew into a defensive player at Tennessee, earned letters on two of Doug Dickey’s good teams and was a starter on the Bill Battle team of 1970 that won 11 games and routed Air Force in the Sugar Bowl.

“A few years after Manley graduated, he and I were at a UT function here in Nashville and coach Larry Jones was the guest speaker. He had been Manley’s position coach and he recognized Manley in attendance,” recalled Tommy Baucom, defensive tackle and Mixon’s roommate.

“Coach Jones asked Manley to stand and he said, ‘I want my son to grow up and be just like Manley Mixon!’

“I have always thought that was the nicest compliment anyone could ever receive.”

Mixon entered the trucking business with General Truck Sales in Nashville. He became parts manager for Peterbilt. He retired as parts manager for Tec Equipment in California and returned to Tennessee.

“Manley was so proud of his sons,” said Baucom. “Bo is a retired Army colonel and Josh has a vet degree from UT.”

Baucom said Manley Mixon was simply “the best person I have ever met. Judge Mike Mondelli (another UT old Vol) summed it up best when he said “So far 2020 has been a year full of rotten news and happenings and Manley’s passing makes it even worse.”

“Manley treated every teammate the same,” said Conrad Graham, a Vol sophomore when Mixon was a senior.

“It didn’t matter whether you were first team, trainer, equipment manager or a waiter at Gibbs Hall, he was your friend. He treated everyone with respect.”

Old Vol Steve Robinson has an interesting perspective.

For a couple of years, Steve and John Keller roomed next to Mixon and Baucom. Robinson and Keller were rumored to be noisy. They liked fresh air. They opened their door and window before they went to bed.

One night got cold, very cold. There was spitting snow. Robinson and Keller had a big argument about who was going to get up and close the window. The discussion got louder and louder. You might have thought both were stubborn.

Eventually, Manley Mixon appeared and calmly said: “Would you two please shut up. I’ll close the window.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *