Bryan Mullins, the associate head coach at Loyola Chicago, is returning to alma mater Southern Illinois to be the Salukis’ next head coach. While Mullins’ name had surfaced immediately following previous head coach Barry Hinson’s resignation, Stadium’s Jeff Goodman was first to report the hiring on Wednesday.
Mullins had a very decorated career at SIU, where he played four seasons under head coach Chris Lowery. Known for his defensive prowess, Mullins earned MVC All-Defensive team honors all four years and was twice named the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year.
After college, Mullins continued his playing career in France. He returned to the States in 2013 to begin his coaching career, joining Porter Moser‘s staff initially as Director of Basketball Operations. He quick rise through the coaching ranks is indicative of the impact he has had on the Ramblers program that made a memorable and unexpected run to last year’s NCAA Final Four.
The hiring of Mullins will certainly cause some excitement in the SIU basketball community, as the Salukis have not been to the NCAA Tournament since Mullins was in the starting lineup in 2007. Outside of his obvious ties to the program, he is a Chicagoland native with six years coaching and recruiting experience in the area and in the conference. And at just 32 years of age, Mullins will inject some youthful energy into the program that was missing under Hinson.
h/t to John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune for the photo