Mullins named as SIU men's basketball coach

Southern Illinois University welcomed home one of its all-time greats on Wednesday, March 20, naming Bryan Mullins as the school’s 14th men’s basketball head coach. 

Mullins, 32, is a member of the Saluki Hall of Fame, in recognition of a four-year career (2006-2009) in which he set the school record for assists and steals and was the point guard for two NCAA Tournament teams (2006, 2007) and an NIT squad (2008). 

Southern Illinois advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2007, won a school-record 29 games and finished the season at a school-best No. 11 national ranking.

“I visited with Bryan fairly early in the search process and he has everything you want in a coach,” SIU director of athletics Jerry Kill said in a news release.

“His interview blew me away. When I walked out of there, it was easy to go to the next round of people, because he set the standard of what they had to be, and I couldn’t find anyone better, and I went all over the country.”

After graduating from SIU in 2009, Mullins embarked upon a four-year professional career in France. 

He retired in 2013 and joined Porter Moser’s staff at Loyola as the director of operations. 

Mullins ascended to assistant coach in 2015 and associate head coach in 2018, helping the Ramblers during their historic 2018 season in which the team won a school-record 32 games, advanced to the Final Four and finished the season with a No. 7 national ranking.

“I am so happy for Bryan to get this opportunity to lead his alma mater,” Moser said. 

“I am so grateful for his friendship and loyalty working side-by-side with him for the last six years. He is a tireless worker in addition to being a first-class person and is a perfect fit to lead Southern Illinois University.”

Loyola won back-to-back Missouri Valley Conference championships in 2018 and 2019, and Mullins was a key factor in the program’s success, recruiting all-conference players such as Cameron Krutwig and 2019 MVC player of the year Marques Townes.

“Bryan’s won at everything he’s ever done,” said Kill. “There’s no doubt in my mind he’s the right fit. Our teams will play hard and be tough.”

Mullins was a two-time MVC defensive player of the Year at Southern Illinois and earned MVC all-defensive team recognition in each of his four seasons with the Salukis. 

As a freshman, the 6-foot-2 guard led the MVC and ranked seventh in the nation in steals (2.85 spg) and was named to the MVC’s all-newcomer and all-defensive teams.

Off the court, Mullins graduated from SIU with a degree in finance and a perfect 4.0 cumulative grade-point average. 

He was a three-time All-Missouri Valley Conference scholar-athlete team pick and won the 2009 MVC scholar-athlete of the year award. 

A two-time Academic All-American, Mullins won the MVC’s Dr. Charlotte West Scholar-Athlete award and President’s Council Academic award.

“Bryan Mullins is the embodiment of every positive quality we need to lead Saluki basketball,” said former Saluki associate head coach Rodney Watson and current head coach at Southern Indiana.  

“This is a brilliant hire and great day for Saluki Nation. Congratulations Bryan, we are excited to watch your teams compete for championships.”

Mullins signed a five-year contract with the school at $475,000 per year.

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158
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