Holmes Community College alumnus Aubrey Rozzell will be inducted into the Mississippi Community College Sports Hall of Fame Tuesday night at Hinds Community College's Rankin Campus at the Muse Center.
Rozzell spent his early year of schooling in Rome, Miss. from first through fourth grades, moving on to attend Sunflower Consolidated High School by way of Rena Lara for three years. After which, he transferred to Friars Point High School to play football. His last year of high school, Rozzell transferred to Holmes Agricultural High School and played first team tackle on the college team (Holmes Junior College) and also lettered on the college's baseball team all while still being a high school senior.
Rozzell was offered a baseball and football scholarship to the University of Mississippi but decided to stick close to home and accepted a football scholarship to Delta State University, where he lettered four straight years in football, baseball and track. Rozzell later made Little American in 1955 and signed a professional football contract with the Chicago Bears as a middle linebacker. He was then traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers and as a rookie made the starting roster as outside linebacker. Rozzell injured his back his second year with the Steelers and signed with the Montreal Alouettes as middle linebacker. The following year, Rozzell had a career-ending back operation.
After retiring from professional football, Rozzell began his coaching and teaching career back where it all began at Holmes Junior College and his career took off from there. Coaching took Rozzell to Belle Glade, Florida, Delta State University, and Pascagoula High School, where he was the assistant principal and head football coach. After ending his coaching career, Rozzell became the executive director of Mississippi State Parks in 1978 working under four governors and remained there for 15 years. He was also the president of the State Parks Directors Association, sat on the 50 States National Outdoor Recreation Association Board, and was appointed to the World Fair Committee by William Winter in 1984. Upon his retirement in 1989 with an impressive 34 and half years of service to the state of Mississippi, Rozzell enjoyed being a motivational speaker and being involved with the jail and prison ministries.
Among many awards and acclamations, Rozzell has been the recipient of the Mike Campbell Lifetime Achievement Award, received resolution from the Mississippi Legislature for Top Agency in Energy Conservation, keynote speaker at the International Recreation Conference in New Brunswick, Canada, and recently inducted into the All-American Football Foundation, along with Walter Peyton as Little All-Americans throughout the nation. Rozzell was inducted into the Delta State University Hall of Fame in 1977 and the Holmes Community College Sports Hall of Fame in 1996.
He and his wife, Denece, reside in Quitman and attend First Baptist Church of Quitman.