Lou Mitchell was a four-year letterwinner and three-time first-team All-OAC and All-Ohio selection in basketball during his tenure at Denison. He was also named Ohio Athletic Conference Player of the Year during his junior season. Mitchell was described as “one of the all-time great cage stars in DU and conference history”.
Mitchell holds numerous school records including rebounds in a season (372), rebounding average in a season (17.7), field goals attempted in a game (36 vs. Muskingum), all set in 1954-55. He is the career record holder in field goals attempted (1,496), rebounds (1,120) and rebounding average (14.0). His 1,632 career points rank fourth on Denison’s all-time scoring list.
From 1966 to 1968, he managed and coached the Columbus Comets of the North American Professional Basketball League. He was also one of the original investors in the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers in 1970, and served on the team’s board of directors from 1970-80.
Noted for his philanthropy and dedication to education within the local community. Mitchell has been a key contributor on a number of ambitious construction projects taken on by the college in recent years. In 1994 the Mitchell Athletic Center was opened to the public and in 2013 a renovation to the current athletic facility and construction of a new aquatics center was completed. On May 30, 2009, he was inducted into the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame.