“I LOVE THIS TOWN”—1980 Clairton graduate Gary Mullen was one of 13 inducted into the inaugural Clairton High School Hall of Fame, Sept. 21. (Photo by J.L. Martello)

Gary Mullen’s love for the city of Clairton and its sports teams is evident.

“I love this town. This is home. Clairton is a special place. I am a Bear for life,” said Mullen, a 1980 graduate of Clairton High School who was a standout member of the football and basketball teams.

He held the quarterback and defensive back positions on the football team and led the Bears to the WPIAL playoffs during his senior year of high school. Although the team didn’t win the final championship game, Mullen was named the Pittsburgh Press Class A Player of the Year.

After being recruited by West Virginia and Minnesota, Mullen chose West Virginia and played in three of the Mountaineers’ Bowl game victories; the 1981 Peach Bowl, the 1983 Hall of Fame Classic Bowl and the 1984 Bluebonnet Bowl.

KAMELA GISENDANNER, CLASS OF 2003 (Photos by J.L. Martello)

After graduation, Mullen was signed by the Detroit Lions in 1985 but was released before the season began. A year later he was signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers but left the team on his own free will when he couldn’t shake a bad case of the flu. One day before he was ready to give up on his football dreams and join the Army, he got a call to try out for the Arena Football League’s Denver Dynamites. During his rookie year with the Dynamites, Mullen was named MVP after his team won, 45-16. His prowess during the 1987 season led him to play three games with the Chicago Bears during the NFL players strike.

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