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Sun Devil Athletics mourns the loss of Don 'Donze' Mullett

Mullett family’s support elevated ASU hockey program to NCAA Division I status

Don Mullett stands excitedly next to Morgan Olsen on the ice rink of the Mullett Arena

Philanthropist Don “Donze” Mullett (left) and Morgan Olsen, ASU executive vice president, treasurer and chief financial officer, present the 2024 Desert Hockey Classic trophy to Sun Devil Hockey following a 2-1 overtime victory over Omaha at Mullett Arena on Jan. 6. Photo courtesy the ASU Foundation

April 11, 2024

Don “Donze” Mullett supported Arizona State University’s hockey program since its club days in 2000 when his youngest son, Chris, played for the team.  

In 2014, Mullett and his wife, Barbara, were instrumental in elevating Sun Devil Hockey to NCAA Division I status through their philanthropic support.

On April 8, Mullett died peacefully surrounded by family, just two days before his 82nd birthday. The Mulletts’ family legacy with Sun Devil Athletics will live on, ensuring student-athletes access and success. 

“All of us in the ASU family are saddened to learn of Don Mullett’s passing,” said Morgan R. Olsen, ASU executive vice president, treasurer and chief financial officer. “Donze and his family maintained an unwavering commitment to Arizona State University. They have provided critical support to Sun Devil Athletics and particularly Sun Devil Hockey. Mullett Arena stands as his legacy of generosity and will impact our Sun Devil community for decades. Our most sincere condolences go out to his wife, Barbara, and their family.”

The Mulletts’ first gift to ASU was in 2000 when they made a donation to support the ACHA Sun Devil Hockey club. Over the years, they generously donated to support Sun Devil Athletics and Sun Devil Hockey.

“Donze and Barbara Mullett’s unwavering support and significant generosity to Sun Devil Athletics have not only shaped the present but will continue to inspire and propel future generations of athletes," said Scott Nelson, vice president of enterprise development for the ASU Foundation for a New American University. “We are eternally grateful for the legacy of excellence and passion they have bestowed upon us.”

“Simply put, ASU hockey is what it is because of Donze," said Sun Devil Hockey Head Coach Greg Powers. "None of us would be here without him, and he and his family will forever be legends to the ASU hockey community and the hockey community in the desert. Donze was a great friend, a great mentor, and anyone that was blessed to have been able to call him a friend is better because of it."

In 2022, ASU named its new multipurpose arena in honor of the Mullett family. Mullett Arena hosts Sun Devil hockey, volleyball and wrestling, as well as community events. The NHL’s Arizona Coyotes hockey team also temporarily plays at the arena.

In October 2022, Mullett told ABC15 that pond hockey was his family’s thing because his family was raised on a small lake. All three of his kids and his grandkids played pond hockey.

“Hockey is a constant in our family and an element of our lives that brings us so much joy. It is so special for us to now associate that love for the game with Arizona State University and the state of Arizona with this remarkable building. As awestruck as we are to watch elite college hockey in this state-of-the-art facility, we're finding even more meaning in the assurance that Mullett Arena will be home to little tykes, learn-to-skates and club and adult leagues who share our love for the sport,” Mullett said during a press conference unveiling the arena in August 2022.

In 1998, Mullett commissioned the Mullett Ice Center in honor of his father, Howard. He donated it to Arrowhead Union High School in Hartland, Wisconsin. The center is home to the high school men’s and women’s hockey teams and youth and adult recreational leagues. Mullett was inducted into the Arrowhead Athletic Hall of Fame in 2014.

Mullett served as the former president and board chairman of Bradley Corporation, a Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin-based company that specializes in commercial washrooms and emergency safety applications. The family-owned-and-operated company was started by Mullett’s grandfather and two business partners in 1921. Bradley Corporation remained in the Mullett family for five generations before it was sold in 2023.

Mullett was engaged with many civic and social organizations, including the Arrowhead High School Endowment Fund; Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Metro Milwaukee; Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee; United Way; the Saint John's Northwestern Military Academy; the Junior Achievement of Wisconsin; and the Western Golf Association Evans Scholars Foundation. His hobbies included hunting, fishing and golfing.

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Barbara, and three sons: Bryan, Erik and Chris.

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