When Steve Mullins became the 14th head football coach in Arkansas Tech University history in the summer of 1997, he inherited a program in transition. The Wonder Boys had posted just six winning seasons and one conference championship in the previous 20 years, and they were in the infancy of a new era as members of NCAA Division II and the ultra-competitive Gulf South Conference.
15 football seasons later, Tech has accomplished feats unmatched by any of its fellow conference members from Arkansas. The Wonder Boys were the first Gulf South Conference football program in Arkansas to ever win the GSC title outright (1999), the first GSC football program in Arkansas to host an NCAA Division II Playoff game (2004) and the first GSC football program in Arkansas to win an NCAA Division II Playoff game (2004). In addition, Tech is the only Arkansas Division II school to host and win two playoff games as they picked up a 40-13 win over UNC Pembroke in the first round of the 2009 NCAA D-II Playoffs. Mullins enters the 2012 season as the winningest active football coach in the in the state of Arkansas with 91 victories and is all-time winningest coach in Tech history, a mark he passed during the 2009 season after leading the Wonder Boys to a 9-3 record and a second-round appearance in the NCAA D-II Playoffs for the second time in school history.
Those deeds have earned Mullins three Gulf South Conference coach of the year awards (1999, 2004 & 2009) and two NCAA Division II South Region Coach of the Year honors (2004 & 2009).
"It means a lot to me personally, and it means a lot to our program as well," said Mullins when asked about the awards. "When we go out to sell this program and this university, it gives us more credibility. Coach of the year awards are just like playing quarterback. When things are going great, you get too much credit. When everything is going poorly, you get too much blame. So, I guess when things do go well you need to accept them and enjoy them while you can. It's truly a team award. So many people contribute to a successful football program. I hold the position of head coach so I get all that credit, but there are countless people who worked very hard so that I could win those awards."
Coach Mullins is 54 years old. He was born June 9, 1958, in Camden, Arkansas. He is married to the former Liz Morgan of Groves, Texas. The couple has three children: Katie, Hunter and Mason. Katie is a 2012 Tech graduate, while Hunter is a senior in 2012-13 at Tech and serves as the school's SGA President and Mason is a senior at Russellville High School.