A number of Mississippi families are known for their collective contributions to Ole Miss sports, but perhaps none can equal the honors and achievements of the Manning family, which traces its Mississippi roots to Drew, Mississippi, and Sunflower County. Sporting News named them, “The First Family of Ole Miss” for their ongoing contributions both on and off the field since the late 1960s.
Together, the family that includes Archie (far right) and Olivia Manning, and sons, Cooper (second from left), Peyton (second from right) and Eii (left), have four University of Mississippi diplomas. It has produced two Ole Miss All-American quarterbacks and three Super Bowl rings. In addition, the Manning family can boast three Super Bowl MVPs, 16 Pro Bowl selections and four NFL MVP awards.
The family’s off-the-field honors include: Colonel Reb 1971 (Archie), Colonel Reb 2003 (Eli) and Ole Miss Homecoming Queen 1970 (Olivia Williams [Manning). She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Cooper Williams and a native of Philadelphia, Mississippi. Olivia Williams Manning was a member of Delta Gamma sorority.
As New Orleans Living once wrote, “The first family of football’s leading lady, Olivia Manning, has her heart in the right place.”