Friday, December 20, 2002Johnson City, Tenn. (Dec. 20, 2002) - East Tennessee State University President Dr. Paul E. Stanton Jr. named longtime men's tennis coach Dave Mullins as interim Director of Intercollegiate Athletics on Friday. Mullins, who is in his 16th season at ETSU, will take on the duties currently held by Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Todd Stansbury, who tendered his resignation on Dec. 11 to accept a position with Oregon State University. Stansbury's last day with the program will be Jan. 10, with Mullins beginning his new role effective Jan. 11. "Dave Mullins came to ETSU over 15 years ago as an already well-established coach with tremendous promise to build upon the ETSU tennis program. He has done just that," Stanton said. "We appreciate Dave's talent and his integrity, which are reflected in the ETSU tennis program season after season. We are pleased he is stepping in to serve as our Director of Intercollegiate Athletics on an interim basis." Mullins said he is proud to be given the opportunity to carry on the mission of the ETSU athletics department. "I'm excited about the opportunity to not just maintain, but continue the progress we have made here at ETSU over the last few years," Mullins said. "In my 16 years here I have developed a passion for ETSU as a whole and for the athletics department, so I consider myself one of the biggest fans of all our sports. I know the value of athletics in our players' lives and I know the passion our coaches have for what they do. "To have the opportunity to influence the department, and to have a role in the decision-making process for the university as a whole alongside our capable staff and coaches, that led me to a place in my career where I thought I could serve the university in this role if presented the opportunity." Mullins' time at ETSU has been marked by significant successes. Recruiting student-athletes from around the world, Mullins has worked to mold his teams into winners both on the court and in the classroom. Mullins has coached 28 All-Southern Conference players, he has coached numerous ITA nationally and regionally ranked players, and he helped guide 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 just recently completed their fall semester classwork 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. Mullins said his work with local supporters of ETSU athletics and the relationships he has developed both inside the athletics department and outside in the community will help him in his new role. He added that teamwork will also be a major goal. "I realize I am first a teacher and a coach - and this is a team effort," Mullins said. "I want to emphasize that this will take a complete team effort to accomplish the vision we've developed together over the last few years. I appreciate having had the opportunity to work with Todd. I was on the search committee that hired him and I knew at that point it was the right decision. He infused a new energy and vision. He hired quality people in addition to the already established coaches and players in the department, and it's my desire to continue that momentum. At the same time, I want to identify the areas that need attention so that we can move to another level as a department. "The title is interim athletic director and it is my hope that the emphasis will be on director and not on interim. I feel that I'm capable enough to continue in the long term if I decide that is what I want for my career and if the university feels like that is their decision. They have assured me it will be a mutual decision."
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