Remembering the Charleston 9: Louis Mulkey

Louis Mulkey is originally from the Summerville area and is well known for being Summerville High School’s assistant basketball coach. The team won the first state championship in school history just months after his death. Louis Mulkey’s mother and brother say while he would have been thrilled to see his team win that championship game, he would want to be remembered for so much more.

His family says he loved the brotherhood the fire department provided.

Louis’ brother, Wayne Mulkey, says, “All of the shenanigans that they would get into, playing pranks on each other and going places to eat and having a good time.”

They say he was the ringleader, always looking for a good prank.

Louis’ mother, Ann Mulkey, says, “A lot of times he would come in the house and I would be back in the bedrooms somewhere, he would come in and I’m not even aware he was even in the house, and he would scream “Mom!”, but I got him back… I got him back a few times.”

But when he put on the coaching hat, it was time to be serious.

Wayne says, “He tried to teach the kids a lot of the things he learned the hard way so that they wouldn’t have to learn it the hard way.”

Louis Mulkey’s family says his catchphrase was “Do the right things, the right way, for the right reasons”, and while he pushed the team to be the best in the game he also wanted them to win in life.

Wayne says, “He was always up at the school to check on them to make sure they were getting good grades, paying attention to the teacher and stuff. If they didn’t do their homework, he would sit them down in the middle of the field in a desk while the other kids practiced and they would have to do their homework.”

He urged them to keep their futures in mind and above all, get an education.

Wayne says, “They would start farming these kids out to smaller colleges so they could get an education and play ball, so they could continue on with what they wanted to do.”

And that championship basketball game was the team’s way of saying thank you.

Wayne says, “They played their hearts out, every game.”

Ann adds, “They wanted to do it for him.”


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