Mullins announces retirement; new post at ETSU
Play Video Dave Mullins enjoyed the longest tenure of any AD since ETSU became a Division I program.
Dave Mullins enjoyed the longest tenure of any AD since ETSU became a Division I program.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Former VCU Director of Athletics Dr. Richard Sander to serve as interim AD during transition period

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 14, 2013) – ETSU Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Dave Mullins announced Monday that he will be moving from his current role at the university and taking a new position within the institution effective Jan. 16, 2013.

Mullins – who is the longest tenured AD in the program’s Division I era – will become a special assistant to the president for athletics, a position which will focus on fund raising and facility development by coordinating efforts between the Buccaneer Athletic Scholarship Association, athletic corporate development, and ETSU’s alumni and advancement offices.

He will officially retire from his full time role at the institution on June 30, and will continue in his new position from that point forward.

“For the last 10 years, I have had the privilege of serving ETSU as Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, following my 15 plus years as head tennis coach. I am extremely proud of the positive changes, growth and successes that our student-athletes, coaches, and administrative team have accomplished,” Mullins said. “I was both honored and humbled by Dr. Stanton's confidence that I could help change the culture of our department, establish an across-the-board championship program, and lead a much-needed and long-overdue capital development plan for facilities. With great collaboration with vice presidents like Dr. Wayne Andrews, Dr. Wilsie Bishop, Dr. Bert Bach, and Dr. David Collins, we have made significant progress.

“But there is still much to accomplish for ETSU to become the nationally-recognized brand that we all envision. During the past year, I have appreciated the new energy and vision that Dr. Noland has brought to our campus. He and I have had numerous conversations, particularly during the last four months, about a larger and more strategic role that I can play in assisting him in the planning and implementation of the Committee for 125’s vision for the future. Our athletics goals are going to involve even more facility development and significantly greater financial support.

“He has offered and I have accepted the position of special assistant to the president for athletics. In my new role, he and I can focus on these priorities and work with our students, BASA, the ETSU Foundation and Alumni Office, corporate leaders and the community, to accomplish our goals. Our future is bright and I look forward to being a part of our future successes in my new role.”

ETSU President Dr. Brian Noland said ETSU is grateful for Mullins’ efforts throughout his time at the institution.

“I congratulate Dave on his retirement and on his many accomplishments during his tenure, both as a coach and as an administrator, with Intercollegiate Athletics,” Noland said.  “Coach Mullins guided our program through an era of significant growth, and he was deeply committed to helping our student-athletes be successful, both on the courts and playing fields as well as in their academic pursuits. It is noteworthy that upon Dave’s retirement, ETSU student-athletes have one of the highest overall GPAs in our conference.

“I look forward to working with Dave in this new role.”

Noland also announced that former Virginia Commonwealth University Director of Athletics Dr. Richard Sander will serve as the program’s interim director of intercollegiate athletics in the near term during a yet-to-be-determined transition period.

Having worked for over 44 years in the Tennessee Board of Regents system, Mullins has spent the last 11 seasons as the program’s director of intercollegiate athletics. He previously coached the ETSU men’s tennis team from 1987 to 2002, but was appointed as the athletic program’s interim AD back on Dec. 20, 2002 following the departure of Todd Stansbury. ETSU President Dr. Paul E. Stanton Jr. later formally named Mullins the program’s 17th director of intercollegiate athletics on April 14, 2003.

Mullins said he has been grateful for the opportunity to serve in this capacity at ETSU and is proud of the accomplishments of the program’s student-athletes, coaches and staff.

“We have hired and developed a very stable, professional and passionate administrative staff who have taken great pride in doing business the right way; we have attracted extremely talented and motivated coaches who have won 45 regular season and tournament championships and qualified for 25 NCAA Tournaments in 13 of our 17 sports – several multiple times – over the last 11 seasons,” said Mullins, who was named the NACDA Division I Athletic Director of the Year in 2010.  “Our student-athletes know they can compete for championships and achieve outstanding academic success while having a positive collegiate experience.

“Together, our administrative and coaching team has been able to gain the support of our alumni, BASA members, community fans and corporate leaders to raise more revenue than ever to fully fund our scholarships, complete our gender equity plan, and build state-of-the-art facilities. Summers-Taylor Stadium (Soccer), Betty Basler Field (Softball), the new Thomas Stadium (baseball), Warren-Greene Golf Center (golf) and our new outdoor tennis complex have created the kinds of practice and competitive venues our programs deserve. The major renovations to Brooks Gym for volleyball and the new basketball improvements with the arena lights, video tables, practice facility and upgraded seating have vastly improved our ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center.”

Mullins, who initially brought Sander to Johnson City to help assist with the on-going Committee for 125 process, said the program will be in good hands during the transition.

“During the 125 process, I enlisted the assistance of my long-time friend and colleague Dick Sander, a 23-year AD at VCU, to assist us in evaluating our program, gathering data, developing a strategic vision, and putting together a plan,” Mullins said. “His experience and expertise have been invaluable. I know our staff and supporters will enjoy getting to know him and working with him.”

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