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.
Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year Dan Muller has proven his ability to win an MVC championship. In his fifth year as Illinois States head coach, Muller led the Redbirds to a share of the 2017 MVC regular-season title, which was their first since he helped ISU win the Valley championship as a player in 1998.
Muller was named the 19th mens 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).
Throughout his first five seasons, Muller 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 and the Southeastern Conference (SEC). 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.
An Illinois State alum with invaluable Illinois high school and AAU ties, along with more than a decade of head coaching experience, Luke Yaklich (pronounced YOCK-litch) joined the ISU mens basketball team as an assistant coach prior to the 2013-14 season. He was promoted to associate head coach ahead of the 2016-17 campaign.
In his first three years with the Redbirds, Yaklich helped guide Illinois State to a 58-43 record and two postseason berths (2015 National Invitation Tournament and 2014 College Basketball Invitational). Yaklich is in charge of ISU mens basketball academics along with assisting in recruiting, scouting and working on skill development. In the fall of 2014, ISU established a team grade-point average record with a 2.99 GPA, breaking the previous mark by 0.13 points, and in 2016, Justin McCloud earned a spot on the MVC Scholar-Athlete Second Team.
Yaklich was previously the head boys basketball coach at Joliet Township High School in Joliet, Illinois, for six seasons (three in the combined Joliet Township program and three at Joliet West), and also as a coach for the Joliet Pride and Illinois Wolves AAU teams. In total, Yaklich worked as a high school head coach and teacher for 14 years.
Dean Oliver has continuously proven his leadership ability as an NBA player and an NCAA Division I assistant coach and student-athlete. He is now sharing his vast experience with the Illinois State mens basketball program since joining ISU as an assistant coach prior to the 2014-15 season.
In his first two seasons with the Redbirds, Oliver helped guide Illinois State to a 40-27 overall record and an at-large bid to the National Invitation Tournament in 2015. Working primarily with ISUs guards, Oliver has helped the Redbirds earn multiple Missouri Valley Conference accolades at the guard position (DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell: All-MVC Second Team, MVC Newcomer of the Year, MVC All-Newcomer Team; Daishon Knight: All-MVC Second Team, All-MVC Tournament Team; Paris Lee: All-MVC Honorable Mention Team, two-time All-Defensive Team).
A Mason City, Iowa, native who was born in Quincy, Illinois, Oliver spent three seasons as an assistant coach at North Dakota, in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Prior to joining the coaching ranks, Oliver prospered as a professional basketball player for nearly a decade, including a two-year stint in the NBA with the Golden State Warriors. He also served as a standout point guard at Iowa, from 1997-2001.
Brian Reese, who won a national championship as a player with North Carolina and was the head coach at Division II Georgian Court University last season, has been hired as an assistant coach at Illinois State, head coach Dan Muller announced May 31, 2016. Prior to his head coaching stint, Reese served as a collegiate assistant for six years.
“Brian brings such unique experiences to our program,” Muller said. “As a former high school all-American who won an NCAA national championship – as a starter – and played professionally in many different countries, Brian has a wealth of knowledge to share with our players. As a coach, he began at the high school level and worked his way up to serving as the head coach at an NCAA program. Along the way, Brian helped build the foundation for Monmouth to become one of the best mid-major teams in the country last year. I have known Brian for over 15 years, and I am incredibly excited to be working alongside him now.”,
Reese joins the Redbird coaching staff following one season as the head coach at Georgian Court in Lakewood, New Jersey. Before that, Reese was an assistant at Monmouth University for four seasons (2011-15).
Director of Basketball Operations
Spencer Johnson, the career rebounding leader at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, has served as Illinois States director of basketball operations since June of 2016. Prior to his promotion, Johnson was ISUs video coordinator, a position he held since August of 2015.
Before joining ISU, Johnson served as a graduate assistant with the UMKC mens 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 schools 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.
Director of Basketball Operations
Illinois State head mens basketball coach Dan Muller announced the hiring of Darshawn McClellan as the programs video coordinator Aug. 15, 2016.
A former player at Vanderbilt, McClellan served as a player development assistant with the Commodore mens basketball program during the 2015-16 season following a three-year playing career overseas and work in the private sector.
“Darshawn was a player when I was an assistant at Vanderbilt who I always thought could become a terrific coach,” Muller said. “With a year of video experience under his belt at Vanderbilt, along with the type of person he is, Darshawn is the perfect guy for this job.”