University at Albany Director of Athletics Mark Benson announced Monday, May 14, 2018 the hiring of Colleen Mullen as the 12th head women’s basketball coach in program history, and the fifth head coach in the Great Danes’ Division I era.
Mullen arrived at UAlbany after spending the previous seven seasons at Army West Point. Mullen joined Army’s staff as an assistant coach in July 2011 and was promoted to associate head coach a year later. Mullen made her way to West Point after two years at Long Island University where she was the top assistant and recruiting coordinator. She also spent a season as an assistant coach at Patriot League foe Lehigh.
"I am excited to have Colleen join our coaching staff here at the Academy," head coach Dave Magarity said upon her hiring. "She brings a wealth of experience and an infectious energy as a recruiter. She has a strong background as a teacher of the game, and her ability to work with our young backcourt will be critical for our future success as a team."
A proven point guard as a collegiate player for both Rhode Island and New Hampshire, Mullen has continued to cultivate her expertise at the guard position since entering the coaching ranks.
Since her arrival at the Academy, Mullen has worked primarily with Army’s guards. She worked closely with the Patriot League career scoring leader Kelsey Minato from 2012 to 2016 and helped lead the Black Knights to four straight 20-win seasons and four consecutive appearances in national postseason tournaments. The Black Knights reached the NCAA Tournament and earned Patriot League championships in 2016 and 2014, and played in the WNIT in 2015 and 2013.
Mullen helped the Black Knights extend their streak of 20 wins in a single season to five after Army captured 22 wins during the 2016-17 season.
Army completed the best season in team history in 2015-16, reaching a program-record 29 victories as part of a 29-3 overall record to match the Patriot League standard for most wins in a season. The 29 wins also gave the Cadets their fourth consecutive 20-win season to mark the longest streak of that kind in team history.
The Black Knights finished 17-1 in Patriot League play in 2015-16 and entered the conference tournament as the No. 1 seed. Army set a number of Patriot League records that season, including widest margin of victory (+19.5), lowest opponent scoring average (50.8), and highest three-point percentage (.410). The Black Knights also rattled of 19 wins in a row during the year to establish new Patriot League and Academy records.
Minato garnered a number of accolades during her outstanding senior season in 2015-16, including espnW Mid-Major Player of the Year, All-Met Division I Player of the Year, and being selected All-America honorable mention by the Associated Press and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association. Minato earned her third Patriot League Player of the Year nod to join 2003 Bucknell graduate Molly Creamer as the only player in league history to do so, and become the conference’s only player to be a first-team selection all four years.
Under Mullen’s watch, Minato finished her senior campaign with an Academy-record 743 points (23.2 points per game) and become the career scoring leader for the school and the Patriot League, with 2,556 points over her four seasons.
The Black Knights drained a program-record 230 three-pointers in 2015-16, while Minato’s 108 marked the most by a single player in team history.
During the 2014-15 season, Mullen worked primarily with Army’s guards in helping lead the team to its program-record third straight appearance in a national postseason tournament, as the Black Knights reached the WNIT following berths in the NCAA Tournament and the WNIT in 2014 and 2013, respectively. Army finished the season 23-8 to mark its third straight 20-win season, also a program first.
In 2013-14, Mullen helped develop an Army backcourt that led the Black Knights to their second NCAA Tournament appearance as a Division I program.
Army's backcourt shined in 2012-13, as Minato became the first in Patriot League history to be voted Player and Rookie of the Year, while the Black Knights had two first-team All-Patriot League selections for the first time in program history, with both honorees being guards (Minato, Anna Simmers).
The Black Knights' high-scoring perimeter unit helped Army average its highest scoring output since 2007-08 thanks in large part to the second-most accurate three-point shooting contingent in the Patriot League. The Black Knights' success rate beyond the arc was their highest since 2008-09, while their 158 triples were the most Army had made since 2004-05.
The Black Knight ball handlers were the most precise in the conference during Mullen's first season as associate head coach, as Army led the Patriot League in least turnovers per game and ranked as high as ninth in the nation in the category.
During her seven-year coaching tenure prior to Army, Mullen has churned out a plethora of decorated guards and secured top-rated recruiting classes. In her two seasons at Long Island, she helped lead the Blackbirds to an appearance in the Northeast Conference finals and helped record the second-highest win total in program history with a 22-10 mark in 2009-10. She mentored two-time first team All-NEC player Ashley Palmer, while point guard Kiara Evans ranked eighth nationally in assists per game (6.4) under Mullen's watch.
Her duties at Long Island also included managing the program's budget, overseeing the assistant coaching staff, coordinating all on and off campus recruitment and serving as the academic coordinator. The Blackbirds successfully improved their overall team grade-point average from a 2.84 in 2010 to a 3.19 in 2011. A proven recruiter, her first recruiting class was ranked 88th nationally by All-Star Girls Basketball Report. Mullen was also responsible for signing first team All-America junior college player Ebony Davis out of St. Louis, Mo.
Prior to her tenure at Long Island, Mullen spent 2007-08 at Lehigh where she oversaw player development with an emphasis on the backcourt. During her short stint at Lehigh, she guided three of the program's top guards - Erica Prosser, Tricia Smith and Alex Ross - to All-Patriot League selections. All three players went on to garner major Patriot League honors and help Lehigh to back-to-back conference titles.
In addition to her coaching duties at Lehigh, she also oversaw compliance, marketing, team travel, equipment, academics, alumni relations, community outreach, facilities and game management.
Mullen spent 2005-07 as the top assistant at Southern New Hampshire after serving as the director of basketball operations at Northern Illinois in 2004-05.
As a player, Mullen spent two seasons at Rhode Island, leading her team in assists each year before transferring to New Hampshire. A two-year captain, she was one of the top feeders in Wildcat history and finished her two-year career with 218 assists, the 14th-highest mark in school history. Mullen was named to the America East Academic Honor Roll in each of her two seasons.
Mullen received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from New Hampshire in 2003. She earned her a Master of Business Administration degree from Southern New Hampshire in 2006.