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Illinois State assistant coach Brendan Mullins, left, gives guard William Tinsley some instruction on a play during the second half of a 2017 exhibition game at Redbird Arena.

CARBONDALE — New Southern Illinois men's basketball coach Bryan Mullins' first hire for his staff is a familiar one.

Brendan Mullins, Bryan's older brother who has been an assistant coach at Illinois State for the last two years, will help lead the Salukis in 2019-20.

The Redbirds went 18-15 in his first season but reached the title game of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament, where they lost to Loyola.

Illinois State went 17-16 this past season, falling into the opening round of the league tournament for the first time in head coach Dan Muller's career. The Redbirds beat Evansville and then lost to second-seeded Drake in the tournament quarterfinals.

"Brendan represents everything I want this program to stand for," Bryan Mullins said in a statement. "His character, work ethic, and energy are values that have allowed him to have great success early in his career. He has established himself as a proven national recruiter with a tremendous IQ for the game. He is a star in this profession."

Brendan Mullins has been a college coach for the last 12 years, serving at Illinois-Chicago from 2015-17 and Wright State three years before that. He was the director of basketball operations at Wright State from 2010-12 and the director of operations at Green Bay in the 2009-10 season.

A four-year letterwinner at Division II Saint Michael's College in Vermont, he ranks fifth in school history in career 3-pointers (200). Brendan received his bachelor's degree in business administration from Saint Michael's in 2007 and a master's degree in organizational leadership from Mercyhurst in 2009.

He was an assistant coach at Mercyhurst from 2007-09.

Brendan helped Downers Grove South High School to the state quarterfinals in 2003 as a senior, where it lost to eventual runner-up Thornwood. Bryan was a sophomore starter on that squad, and took the Mustangs back to the state tournament in 2005.

Brendan tutored Milik Yarbrough, the Missouri Valley Conference newcomer of the year in 2018, and Dikembe Dixon, a 6-foot-7 forward at UIC who was the Horizon League freshman of the year in 2016 after scoring a league-record 594 points.

The Flames played in the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) in 2017, and when he was at Wright State, the Raiders won 20 games in back-to-back seasons.

SIU returns two starters off this past season's 17-15 squad that finished tied for third in the MVC.

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