Doug Collins Court in Redbird Arena .... Home of the Illinois State Redbird Men's Basketball Camps
A cornerstone for the Illinois State Athletics program is beautiful Redbird Arena, which began operation in 1989. Many praise the arena, with a capacity of 10,200, for its excellent design, as the furthest seat from the floor is just 220 feet away.
In 2007, the court in Redbird Arena was named "Doug Collins Court" after legendary player, coach, Olympian and broadcaster Doug Collins, who started at Illinois State from 1971-73.
Dan Muller, the 2017 Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year, has proven his ability to win an MVC championship. After his sixth year as Illinois State’s head coach, Muller has led the Redbirds to a share of the MVC regular-season title (2017), which was the program’s first since he helped ISU win the Valley championship as a player in 1998, and has led the program to three MVC Tournament Championship Game appearances.
Muller was named the 19th men’s basketball coach in school history May 8, 2012, and since then, he has led Illinois State to a better MVC record and higher conference finish each year. In 2016-17, Muller guided the Redbirds to program bests in MVC wins (17-1, en route to the Valley title), regular-season victories (25) and overall triumphs (28).
Through his first six seasons, Muller amassed a 122-80 record and coached the Redbirds to four victories over Top-25 programs, three postseason appearances (2017 National Invitation Tournament, 2015 NIT and 2014 College Basketball Invitational), four postseason wins, and victories against the Big Ten, the BIG EAST, the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and the American Athletic Conference. Muller is the first coach in Illinois State basketball history to beat four Top-25 teams in his first four seasons, and his four Top-25 victories are also tied for the most ever recorded by a Redbird head coach.
Brian Reese, who won a national championship as a player with North Carolina and was the head coach at Division II Georgian Court University in 2015-16, joined Illinois State as an assistant coach ahead of the 2016-17 season. Prior to his head coaching stint, Reese served as a collegiate assistant for six years.
Last season (2017-18) the Redbirds battled injuries all season, and had just one player appear in every game. The team’s 18-15 record was deceiving; however, as it included wins over the SEC’s South Carolina and Ole Miss, and the American Athletic Conference’s Tulsa (twice). Reese helped coach junior guard/forward to MVC Newcomer of the Year honors and a spot on the All-Conference First Team, as the team battled its way to the championship game of the MVC Tournament.
In his first season with the Redbirds, Reese helped ISU win a share of the Missouri Valley Conference regular-season championship and set program records for overall victories (28), regular-season wins (25) and conference triumphs (17). With Reese’s assistance, ISU earned a No. 1 seed in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT), where the Redbirds won their NIT first-round matchup before bowing out in the second round.
Brendan Mullins, a suburban Chicago native who worked as an assistant men’s basketball coach at UIC for two seasons, is staying in-state to serve as an assistant coach at Illinois State, head coach Dan Muller announced Aug. 11, 2017.
In his first season at Illinois State, the Redbirds battled injuries all season, and had just one player appear in every game. The team’s 18-15 record was deceiving; however, as it included wins over the SEC’s South Carolina and Ole Miss, and the American Athletic Conference’s Tulsa (twice). Mullins helped coach junior guard/forward to MVC Newcomer of the Year honors and a spot on the All-Conference First Team, as the team battled its way to the championship game of the MVC Tournament.
Since arriving at UIC in 2015, Mullins helped recruit and mentor several young talents, including the 2016 Horizon League Freshman of the Year, Dikembe Dixson, who scored 594 points to set the Horizon League freshman scoring record. In 2016-17, the Flames won 17 games and earned a berth in the College Basketball Invitational (CBI). During his first season at UIC, Mullins helped sophomore Tai Odiase develop into one of the top rim protectors in the country. Odiase led the NCAA with 3.23 blocks per game.
Director of Basketball Operations
Spencer Johnson, the career rebounding leader at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, has served as Illinois State’s director of basketball operations since June of 2016. Prior to his promotion, Johnson was ISU’s video coordinator, a position he held since August of 2015.
Before joining ISU, Johnson served as a graduate assistant with the UMKC men’s basketball program for two years, from 2013-15, where he was responsible for video coordinating and editing. Johnson also gained coaching and program operations experience.
A 2012 graduate of UMKC, Johnson is the school’s all-time leader in rebounds (710) and games played (121) during his basketball career from 2007-11. An honorable mention All-Summit League pick, Johnson recorded a UMKC single-season record 283 rebounds as a senior, averaging 9.4 rebounds per game to rank second in school history. He also recorded 21 rebounds in a game versus North Dakota State that year, which was the second-highest total in school history.
Former Vanderbilt player Darshawn McClellan has served as Illinois State’s video coordinator since August of 2016.
McClellan previously worked as a player development assistant with the Vanderbilt men’s basketball program during the 2015-16 season following a three-year playing career overseas and work in the private sector.
McClellan graduated from Vanderbilt in 2011 with a degree in human and organizational development and played in 88 career games with 13 starts. He averaged 2.3 points and 2.5 rebounds and scored a career-high 11 points in a Vanderbilt win at Arkansas while also adding three rebounds, two assists and a block against the Razorbacks Feb. 27, 2010.