NORMAL — Dan Muller will be introduced as Illinois State’s 19th men’s head basketball coach at 4 p.m. Tuesday at Redbird Arena, the school announced in a news release Monday night.
The Pantagraph reported Sunday night that ISU assistant coach Rob Judson was going to be named head coach sometime this week based on information that proved to be erroneous.
Muller, 36, was the favored choice of many ISU fans and boosters who remember him as being one of the leaders of the last Redbird teams to make the NCAA Tournament, in 1997 and 1998.
The Redbirds were 91-37 during Muller’s time as a player and won back-to-back Missouri Valley Conference regular season and tournament titles.
He was a two-time MVC Defensive Player of the Year, an all-MVC second-team pick in 1998 and a second-team Academic All-American. Muller ranks No. 10 on ISU’s all-time scoring list with 1,445 points.
For the last 12 years, Muller has served on the Vanderbilt staff of Kevin Stallings, his coach at ISU.
Muller has been an assistant coach with the Commodores the last 10 years and was an administrative assistant for two years prior to that. Muller has served as Vanderbilt’s recruiting coordinator since 2006.
The Commodores could have three No. 1 picks in this year’s NBA Draft.
Coincidentally, Muller was promoted to assistant coach in 2002 to replace Tim Jankovich who left to join Bill Self at Illinois.
Jankovich was ISU’s head coach the past five years, compiling a 104-64 record. He resigned on April 26 to become the associate coach/coach-in-waiting for Larry Brown at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
It is not known if Muller will retain either of the other two ISU assistants, Anthony Beane or Paris Parham. ISU officials said after Jankovich resigned that Judson would be part of the next coaching staff if he wasn’t named head coach.
Judson later said he would assess what his role would be and other coaching options before deciding whether to stay at ISU.
Muller interviewed Thursday with ISU athletic director Gary Friedman. That same day Friedman interviewed Gonzaga assistant Ray Giacoletti, a Redbird assistant from 1990-93 under Bob Bender. Judson was interviewed the next day.
Friedman said he would not comment on the coaching search until the news conference to announce Jankovich’s replacement.
The Redbirds finished this past season with a 21-14 record and are expected to return all their key players for the 2012-13 season when they could contend for the MVC title and their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1998.