WMBD/WYZZ-TV - NORMAL, Ill. -- The last time the Illinois State 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 from the sideline, as Muller was officially named the 19th head coach in school history Tuesday at Redbird Arena. Muller, who was inducted into the Illinois State Athletics Percy Family Hall of Fame in 2009, replaces Tim Jankovch, who resigned last month to become associate coach at Southern Methodist.
"I stated at the beginning of this search that we were going to find the right fit for Illinois State University. During our very thorough process, Dan Muller emerged as that right fit," ISU Director of Athletics Gary Friedman said. "After talking with several basketball people across the country it was evident that Dan was the complete package, in terms of academics, recruiting, evaluation, player development, in-game coaching and game preparation. He also brings a strong coaching pedigree and a love for this institution and program. We are thrilled to have Dan back home to lead our men's basketball program."
Muller expressed his passion for Redbird basketball.
"I'm honored to be the head coach at Illinois State, and it is great to be back home," Muller said. "I have the fortune of coming back to the ISU campus to lead a group (of players) with high character and a lot coming back. I know Tim Jankovich very well, and they did a great job with this team, so not only am I coming back to a place that I love and a great basketball job, but to a great bunch of guys. If you put everything together, honestly, this is the ideal situation for me."
As a 12-year veteran of the Vanderbilt basketball program under former Illinois State head coach Kevin Stallings, Muller was regarded as one of the top assistant coaches in the country. As Vanderbilt's recruiting coordinator, Muller has spearheaded the program's recruiting efforts since 2006, which were the highest-rated recruiting classes in the history of the program.