The last time the men’s basketball team participated in the NCAA Tournament, Dan Muller was the leader on the floor. He hopes to repeat that accomplishment, this time as coach.
“I’m honored to be the head coach at Illinois State, and it is great to be back home,” said Muller, a 1998 cum laude College of Business graduate. Named the 19th head coach in school history by Athletics Director Gary Friedman in May, Muller replaces Tim Jankovich. He accepted a coaching position at Southern Methodist.
A Redbird from 1994 to 1998, Muller guided the team to two regular season and Missouri Valley Conference Tournament championships and four postseason appearances, including trips to the NCAA Tournament.
Muller ranks 10th in career scoring with 1,445 points, while leading the Redbirds to a 91-37 overall record. He owns the school record with 128-consecutive starts—every game of his career. Muller was also a two-time MVC Defensive Player of the Year and was named the MVP of the Valley Tournament as a senior.
Muller was a two-time GTE Academic All-American and a recipient of the NCAA’s Post-Graduate Scholarship. He was also named a Bone Scholar, the highest academic honor at ISU, and remains the only men’s basketball student-athlete to earn the award.
He spent two years playing professionally, including a stint with the NBA’s Vancouver Grizzlies. He completed an M.B.A. at the University of Florida and was inducted into the Illinois State Athletics Percy Family Hall of Fame.
Muller, who is married and has a stepson, returns to ISU after spending the past 12 years at Vanderbilt under his former Illinois State head coach Kevin Stallings. Muller was regarded as one of the top assistant coaches in the country.
During Muller’s tenure, Vanderbilt accomplished seven 20-win seasons. The team appeared in six NCAA Tournaments and posted two Sweet 16 appearances. The Commodores were the Southeastern Conference Tournament Champions in 2012.
Muller spearheaded the recruiting efforts since 2006, which were the highest-rated recruiting classes in the program’s history. In addition to his recruiting, scouting, and on-court responsibilities, Muller directed the student-athlete’s academic progress. During that time, Vanderbilt collected a 100 percent senior graduation rate.