TEMPE, Ariz. (July 25) – The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) today announced the hiring of David Mullins as Managing Director of Community Engagement and Coach Empowerment. With more than 17 years of combined experience as an NCAA Division I coach and business executive in the tennis industry, Mullins will assume a leadership position that is responsible for developing and implementing new programs in support of ITA members and service to the sport. He will officially join the ITA on August 5.
Mullins will relocate to Tempe, Ariz. from Dublin, Ireland where he was Chief Operating Officer of Adaptas Training, Ltd. He also brings 12 years of experience as a college coach, including eight years as the head women’s coach at the University of Oklahoma.
“We attracted an impressive pool of candidates when we announced this important leadership position and David Mullins’ combination of collegiate head coaching experience and business knowledge are characteristics we were seeking for this role,” ITA CEO Dr. Timothy Russell said. “David is an articulate communicator and skilled administrator who understands the importance of empowering coaches and developing community initiatives that are hallmarks of college tennis.
“He has a successful track record fostering collaboration to achieve program success and has a reputation of promoting a culture that is dedicated to the achievement of professional excellence while adhering to the highest levels of ethical standards,” Russell added. “We are excited that David will be joining the ITA and look forward to him bringing his skills and talents to the world of college tennis.”
During his tenure as head women’s coach (2008-2016) at the University of Oklahoma, Mullins led the Sooners to five NCAA Tournament appearances within three years after taking over a program that had endured four consecutive losing seasons. In 2014, Mullins was named the ITA Central Region Coach of the Year after guiding Oklahoma to a 17-7 record and the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Mullins’ contribution to the Sooners’ program went beyond his on-court coaching as he founded and managed OU Tennis Camps LLC, which provided summer tennis camps for children between the ages of 10-18, which welcomed between 70 and 100 participants on a weekly basis. He also served as the ITA’s Operating Committee Women’s Vice-Chairperson (2014-16).
“Dave is a tremendous hire for the ITA and offers a great deal of experience on both the coaching and administrative fronts. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Dave for many years, but it was abundantly clear during the process how much Dave is universally admired and respected by his colleagues in the tennis industry,” ITA Board of Directors member and Princeton head men’s tennis coach Billy Pate said. “The selection committee was enormously impressed with his communication skills, passion for tennis and ideas for the Association. His experience as a student-athlete, college coach – on both the men’s and women’s side – along with his business experience the last three years in Ireland, makes him an ideal fit for the organization.”
Prior to assuming the head coaching position at Oklahoma, Mullins was an assistant coach at Northwestern University from 2005-08 where he helped lead the women’s team to its first No. 1 national ranking, coach an NCAA champion doubles team and was named the 2008 NCAA National Assistant Coach of the Year. He began his coaching career at DePaul University where he served as associate head coach of the men’s team and helped guide the Blue Demons to a national ranking during the 2004-05 season.
“The ITA cast a wide net when hiring for this position and ended up with an outstanding group of finalists who had a variety of backgrounds and work experiences,” Lauren Conching, head women’s tennis coach and assistant athletic director at Hawaii Pacific University, said. “The committee was challenged with making a decision, but Dave Mullins really stood out. His prior experience as a college tennis coach combined with his business background promoting tennis in Ireland will surely strengthen the ITA and college while engaging its coaching members in a positive manner.”
Mullins garnered 2001 All-American honors as a member of the Fresno State men’s tennis team and was the Fresno State Bulldog Spirit Award recipient in 2000 and 2001. His playing career also included playing on the Irish Davis Cup Team (1999-2004) and competing in both the 1997 Junior Wimbledon and French Open Championships.
After leaving college tennis in 2016, Mullins returned to his native Ireland to serve as Director of Sports at Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club. In that role, he provided leadership for a variety of sports programs, overseeing budgets, schedules and individual coach performance. He managed a staff of 10 that included coaches from a variety of sports plus fitness and executed multiple club sporting events.
“My experience as a student-athlete at Fresno State had a profound impact on my life, so much so that I was eager to join the college coaching ranks in order to guide future student-athletes through a similar transformational process,” Mullins said. “I feel extremely fortunate to have enjoyed 12 years as a college coach before moving away from college coaching to pursue other leadership opportunities within the tennis industry.
“I am extremely passionate about the sport of tennis, and even more passionate about college tennis,” Mullins added. “I believe this new role at the ITA is a perfect fit for my experiences, education and interests to date, and I could not be more honored to represent and help the college coaching community in any way possible”
In January of 2019, Mullins became Chief Operating Officer of Adaptas Training, Ltd., an executive coaching company with over 12 years of facilitating change and growth within major domestic companies and renowned multinational organizations.
Since returning to Ireland, Mullins created DaveMullinsTennis.com, a company site developed to offer college tennis scholarships and program development consulting and solutions on behalf of tennis players, their parents and coaches. He also has delivered presentations that shared professional expertise with regional and national tennis federations as well as the ITA. He has also served as an advisor and is on the Board of Directors for Tennis Ireland, an organization that serves tennis throughout the country.
“I would like to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to Tim Russell and the Board of Directors, led by Jon Vegosen (Chairman of the ITA Board of Directors), for entrusting me with this new role,” Mullins said. “I look forward to getting on the road as soon as possible to meet with coaches to learn how we can continue to serve the coaching community, and further develop college tennis in the years to come.”
In 2018, Mullins became the official world record holder for participating in the longest doubles match and achieved that distinction by playing for 60 hours and 24 minutes.
Mullins, a dual citizen of the United States and Ireland, earned a bachelor’s degree in business and finance from Fresno State in 2001, Masters of Education degree from the University of Oklahoma in 2013 and will complete work on a Masters of Sport and Exercise Psychology from Ulster University in Belfast, Ireland in September.
The search was conducted by Snodgrass Partners, a sports consulting and recruiting company, with Tom Jacobs, co-founder of the sports division, leading the efforts.
About the Intercollegiate Tennis Association
The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) is committed to serving college tennis and returning the leaders of tomorrow. As the governing body of college tennis, the ITA oversees men’s and women’s varsity tennis at NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community College divisions. The ITA administers a comprehensive awards and rankings program for men’s and women’s varsity players, coaches and teams in all divisions, providing recognition for their accomplishments on and off the court. For more information on the ITA, visit the ITA website at www.itatennis.com , like the ITA on Facebook or follow @ITA_Tennis on Twitter and Instagram.