It was rare that a board game ever saw its entirety at the Mulatz household.

Everything turned competitive with triplets Frank, Joe, and Katie—all of whom participated in a variety of sports growing up in Lombard—in the house. And none of the three ever backed down, whether it was over a deck of cards or on the asphalt driveway that served as a basketball court.

“Everything in life was a competition,” Frank said.

The never-ending quest for sibling supremacy pushed the three to be the best versions of themselves. So much so that they agreed to an extension to be teammates, as all three decided to attend Illinois State University together.

While they haven’t yet scoped out places that could make for potential meeting spots for sibling dinners, the Mulatz triplets plan to become heavily involved in campus activities—such as Greek life and intramural sports—and fully invest themselves in their majors.

Joe and Frank will be finance majors in the College of Business. Joe—who played baseball, wrestled, and ran track—likes the diversity of jobs in the field as he’s thought about being both a financial advisor and corporate appraiser. Frank—a golfer and baseball player—may want to be an analyst or advisor. Both are National Honor Society students and plan to be roommates.

Katie will major in physical education, as the former three-sport athlete at Glenbard East High School plans to carry on her love of athletics, which she said was engrained in her as the sister of twin brothers.

“For me being the only girl, I grew up surrounded by guys and all their friends,” said Katie, who played golf, basketball, and softball. “I wanted to be playing sports.”

During her time at Glenbard East, she noted how many of her teachers seemed to be Redbirds, and the fit seemed pretty natural to her.

“I’ve wanted to go here for a while,” Katie said. “And then I talked to a few of my teachers and realized that literally all of them went to ISU. So, I knew right off the bat this is where I wanted to go.”

She was the first domino to fall, and it didn’t take too much longer for her brothers to follow suit.

Illinois State will now become the family school and the setting for the next chapter of sibling competition, friendship, and successes. One of Joe’s favorite parts of growing up as a trio was the constant feeling of community that energized him, Katie, and Frank.

“There was always something going on,” Joe said.

That seems destined to be the case at the University, where the three outgoing siblings plan to fully immerse themselves. Just be on the lookout for any flying objects during a competition-based activity.

Read about all of the students featured in our “Newest Redbirds” series at