James Mullen started playing on the varsity soccer team in ninth grade as a goal-tender. He was named to the first team Tri-County Soccer All Star Team as a junior and senior. For basketball, Jim played on the varsity team for two years under Coach Jack Rentz. He was named to the South All Star Team for the annual North-South Saratoga County School Basketball League game played at Convention Hall in Saratoga Springs. He was the second leading scorer for the game. Jim led the BH-BL team as a senior, averaging 20 points a game for a total of 360 points during the 18 game Saratoga County League season. He also led the team in rebounding. In 1953, Jim was named as the Outstanding Scout and Post Guide of the Burnt Hills Explorer, Post 38, in the Boy Scouts of America.
Jim graduated from SUNY Potsdam in 1959. He played basketball and led the team during his junior year in scoring and rebounding with 282 points during the 20 game schedule for a 14.1 average. He was selected to the New York State Basketball Tournament All Star Team and was captain during both his junior and senior year. As a senior, he was the leading scorer and rebounder for the second consecutive year with 262 points during 18 games, and 190 rebounds. He was also the captain of the first SUNY Potsdam soccer team during his senior year. In 1993, Jim was inducted in the SUNY Potsdam Sports Hall of Fame for both basketball and soccer.
Jim then attended the Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, VA, and earned a Master’s Degree at Miami University. He was in the United States Navy for 30 years, beginning in 1961. He became a Captain, and his service included being the Commanding Officer of two destroyers, the USS Kretchmer and the USS O’Brien. He was the Commodore of an eight ship Destroyer Squadron, and Anti-Submarine Commander for the USS Kitty Hawk Battle Group. Captain Mullen’s service awards include the Legion of Merit three times, Meritorious Service Medal twice, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Unit Commendation Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with the Bronze Star, Navy Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Ribbon and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with Silver Star.
On completion of Naval service he completed a five day United States Coast Guard Exam leading to licensing as a Master of Merchant Marine Vessels of Unlimited Tonnage. In addition, he holds a Coast Guard License as Pilot of Vessels of Unlimited Tonnage in San Diego, CA. He was employed in the Marine industry as Chief Mate and Master of Merchant Marine Vessels, as the Manager of a ship handling simulation training center in Kent, WA. Jim was also an instructor at Merchant Marine Training Centers in Dania, FL and Toledo, OH. He remains active as an instructor at Merchant Marine Training Centers in San Diego.
Jim married Maria Costas and has two children, Dr. James J. Mullen, III and Mary Margaret Mullen Dodd. He also has six grandchildren: Isabella, Olivia and Samantha Mullen; and Mia, Margaret and Robert James Dodd.