Former Army associate hoops coach Colleen Mullen takes over at Albany

(From the University of Athletics sports communications office)

ALBANY — The University at Albany has announced Monday, May 14, the hiring of Colleen Mullen as the 12th women’s basketball coach in program history.

Mullen joins the Great Danes from Army West Point, where she spent the past seven seasons, including the last six as Associate Head Coach.

“We are delighted that Coach Mullen will be joining the UAlbany family. I am confident that she and her staff will build on the great success our women’s basketball team has achieved in recent years both on the court and in the classroom,” UAlbany President Havidán Rodríguez said. “Coach Mullen will get to know very quickly that it’s always a great day to be a Great Dane!”

“Colleen stood out as the right fit to continue to escalate the championship culture of our women’s program,” UAlbany Athletic Director Mark Benson said. “Throughout her career, she’s demonstrated a commitment to developing exemplary student-athletes. She is a leader whose values align perfectly with our mission to develop Great Leaders + Great Champions + Great Danes. We are thrilled to welcome Colleen and her family to UAlbany.”

Mullen will be formally introduced at news conference at 3 p.m. Tuesday, May 15, in SEFCU Arena.

“I’m so humbled and so grateful for this opportunity,” Mullen said. “I’m very appreciative of all the mentors I’ve had. Working under Dave Magarity at Army West Point, the premiere leadership institution in the world, has prepared me to take on this position. I’m grateful for an opportunity to develop student-athletes holistically into confident leaders, so when they leave UAlbany they can go on to a future of personal and professional excellence.”

Mullen takes over a program that has reached the postseason each of the past seven seasons, a stretch that included six straight America East championships and NCAA Tournament appearances.

“The championship culture, the success over a long period of time, just the ability to be able to work with young student-athletes that have that championship mentality is very exciting for me,” Mullen said.

At Army, Mullen helped guide a program that made four postseason appearances, with two trips to the NCAA Tournament, and posted a 138-51 overall record, including a 77-27 mark in the Patriot League.

She was hired at Army in 2011 as an assistant and promoted to Associate Head Coach after just one year. During Mullen’s tenure, Army won two Patriot League Tournament titles and two regular-season championships. The 2015-16 squad won 29 games, setting program and Patriot League records.

Mullen, who worked closely with Army’s backcourt, coached three Patriot League Players of the Year and eight All-Conference selections, including two-time Associated Press All-America Honorable-Mention honoree Kelsey Minator, Army’s all-time leading scorer, male or female, with 2,556 career points.

“I’ve been fortunate to have had a number of outstanding Assistant Coaches during my career and Colleen Mullen has proven to be one of the very best and brightest,” said Army’s head coach, Dave Magarity. “Her knowledge of the game combined with her exceptional communication skills have had an incredibly positive impact on our women’s basketball program at Army West Point during her tenure. She has excelled in every aspect of her responsibilities and without question will be a terrific head coach for UAlbany.”

Mullen said she plans to bring to UAlbany the same fast-paced style of play she helped employ at Army.

“We played a high-pressure defense with a lot of great athletes, and high-pressure defense turned into great offense,” Mullen said. “We looked to push the ball, be unselfish and share the ball. It’s a great style of play that kids love – definitely controlling the boards, rebounding and running.

“As a former point guard, I’m really excited to work with the great guards coming back here and have a system where they can really create and be unselfish.”

Before Army, Mullen served two seasons as an assistant at LIU Brooklyn, where she mentored the program’s all-time leading scorer, Ashley Palmer (2,044 career points) and, as recruiting coordinator, landed a class ranked 88th nationally by All-Star Girls Basketball Report.

After getting her start in coaching at Northern Illinois as the director of basketball operations (2004-05), Mullen was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Southern New Hampshire University for two seasons (2005-07).

“UAlbany is getting a great person who understands today’s student-athletes,” Southern New Hampshire Head Coach Karen Pinkos said. “Colleen takes great pride in her leadership, work ethic and ability to communicate well with others. Colleen will be a dynamic head coach and will continue the success that UAlbany women’s basketball has established over the past decade. Her players will love playing for her!”

Mullen also was an assistant coach Lehigh University (2007-08) before moving on to Army.

She played Division I basketball at Rhode Island, where was the starting point guard in 1998 and 1999, as well as New Hampshire, where she was a two-year co-captain and starter in 2001 and 2002 as well as a two-time member of the America East Academic Honor Roll.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Marketing from New Hampshire and a master’s in Business Administration from Southern New Hampshire.

“I’m really excited and really appreciate Mark Benson, President Rodríguez, Cara White, Jerry Koloskie, and everyone in the search process,” Mullen said. “I felt after my interview that the people are what make this place special. I can’t wait to get started.”

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