Monday, April 14, 2003JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 14, 2003) - East Tennessee State University President Dr. Paul E. Stanton Jr. named Dave Mullins the school's new Director of Intercollegiate Athletics during a news conference Monday morning at the D.P. Culp University Center.
Mullins, who was named the school's interim director on Dec. 20, 2002, said he is humbled by his new role and excited to lead the Buccaneer program into the future.
"I feel very fortunate to be offered the opportunity to serve as permanent Director of Intercollegiate Athletics at East Tennessee State," said Mullins, who has spent the last 16 years at the university as a teacher, coach and administrator. "The confidence of Dr. Stanton, my coaching colleagues, the department staff, my former players and many friends in the community means the world to me."
Stanton said Mullins is the right man to guide the program.
"Dave is, first and foremost, a teacher who understands the role athletics can and should play in a young person's education," Stanton said. "In the four months he has served as Interim Director, he has clearly proven he is ‘up to the job.' Dave works hard, he listens, and he meticulously gathers information before making decisions.
"He is devoted to ETSU and strongly rooted in this community, and it is our hope that he will guide the Buccaneer athletic program for many years."
Mullins took on the duties of athletic director after Todd Stansbury left the university on Jan. 10 to accept a position at Oregon State University. The role was a new one for Mullins, but it came after a career spent working at ETSU, where he has developed the men's tennis program into one of the Southern Conference's most successful squads.
After spending his time as both the women's and men's tennis coach prior to 1996, Mullins began focusing his attention solely on the men's program. In all, he has coached 28 All-Southern Conference players, numerous ITA nationally and regionally ranked players, and guided the Bucs to back-to-back Southern Conference tennis titles three times (1991-92, 1995-96 and 1999-2000).
In 1999 and 2002, Mullins' Buccaneer teams not only won the SoCon title and played in the NCAA Championships, but they also earned All-America Academic honors. Building on that success, Mullins' 2002-'03 team completed their fall semester class work with an impressive 3.9 grade point average. Beyond his work with student-athletes, Mullins also began the Little Caesar's and Snow Volleys tennis tournaments to help raise funds for the ETSU tennis program.
According to Mullins, the last several months have been challenging, but he is excited about the opportunity to continue the work already underway in the department.
"All that has happened, both in our department and in the university the last few months, has run the spectrum," said Mullins, who earned his B.S., magna cum laude, in English from Samford University in 1968 and his master's degree in education from the University of Tennessee in 1974. "From the highs of the SoCon Championship and NCAAs, to the lows of dealing with significant reductions in operating dollars and the disappointment in losing a great coach and colleague, we have all been challenged.
"My intent is to use the positives from our success to help us overcome our challenges. Our goals have not changed: to become the best athletic department in the Southern Conference and take all our programs to another level of success. I'm passionate about what we can achieve in ETSU athletics as our coaches, administrative staff, and players work together to win championships, graduate student-athletes and produce leaders for our community."
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