When Quintin Mikell first visited Indiana State as a prospective student in 1979, he had never flown in an airplane and had never seen snow. The New Orleans teen landed at Indianapolis airport in a major snowstorm.
“The weather was so bad that I had to spend the night at an athlete’s home in Indianapolis. I couldn’t make it to Terre Haute,” Mikell recalled.
Despite his wintry welcome, Mikell, ’84, decided to attend Indiana State on an athletic scholarship and has never regretted it.
“I had a great experience at ISU,” he said. “I had come from an inner-city high school in New Orleans. The students and faculty at Indiana State are very diverse, and they made me feel welcome.”
A key person who was “very instrumental in all facets of my life” was head football coach Dennis Raetz, along with technology professor Dr. Clarence Fauber. As is his nature, Mikell is very modest about his days as a Sycamore.
Not only was he on the football team his entire college career, but also he was team captain for multiple years as well an All-American honorable mention and assistant football coach while he was pursuing his master’s degree. Mikell still holds two all-time records in football at his alma mater.
But what he is most proud of is his wife Donna (whom he met at Indiana State) and his three sons — Quintin Mikell Jr., who played in the NFL for 11 years; Darrian Mikell, a graduate of Indiana Wesleyan and national champion long jumper; and Devyn Mikell, a Dean’s List sophomore at Indiana State and a horizontal jumper and sprinter on the track-and-field team.
With a degree in manufacturing technology and graduate studies in management, Mikell is vice president of operations at Zee Medical Inc. in Indianapolis and a dedicated community volunteer. He is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., whose foundation is based on scholarship, fellowship, good character and the uplifting of humanity.
That’s right, the young man who arrived without a stitch of winter clothing decided to make Indiana his home.
“It’s an awesome place to live,” he said. “I’m a member of the Sycamore Athletic Fund Advisory Board, because I want to give back to the university that gave so much to me.”