Mitchell was a three-year letterman in football and track at Coffee High School. Football is where he excelled and he was All-State his junior and senior seasons, capped off by All-Southern and All-American honors in 1960.
Playing for the legendary Paul "Bear" Bryant at Alabama, he was part of three Southeastern Conference championships and two national championships in 1961 and 1964. He played in the 1962 Orange Bowl, 1963 Sugar Bowl, and the 1964 Orange Bowl.
In 1965, his hometown honored him with "Tank Mitchell Day, " which was attended by Coach Bryant and saw Mitchell presented with a new car.
He started his coaching career at Gordo High School, moved to Tallassee High School for the 1966-69 seasons and coached collegiately at Florida State and Troy State. He now resides in Raleigh, N C.