Neosho County Community College at Chunte, Kan., announced late last week the hiring of Chadron State College Head Volleyball Coach Riann Mullis as its new athletic director. Mullis is a former volleyball standout at NCCC and a graduate of that school.
"Riann has done a great job for us, making CSC volleyball competitive again," said CSC Athletic Director Joel Smith. "We wish her the best in her new role as an administrator, and we will immediately turn our attention to bringing in another great volleyball coach to help our student-athletes succeed."
Mullis returns to Chanute after coaching the Eagles three seasons. In 2017, she led CSC to its first 10-win season in a decade. Two of her CSC players have received Second-Team All-Rocky Mountain Athletic honors four more have earned honorable mention. While coaching she also served in several leadership roles, such as the Onboarding Committee, Athletic Advisory Committee and International Advisory Board.
A native of Kansas, the former Riann Deere, was an all-conference and all-district libero while playing volleyball at NCCC as a sophomore in 2008. She then played volleyball at Pittsburg State University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree.
Prior to coming to CSC, she was an assistant coach and later the head coach for two seasons at Cowley College at Arkansas City, Kan.
Mullis will take over the reins of Panthers athletics on June 1. The previous athletic director, Mike Saddler, took a similar position at Colby County Community College last summer. Neosho County, Cowley, and Colby County are all members of the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference.
"I will forever appreciate my time in Chadron," said Mullis. "I'd like to thank Dr. Rhine (CSC President Randy Rhine) and Joel Smith for giving me the opportunity at CSC. I'd also like to thank my athletes and coaching assistant Paula Okrutna for all their hard work and dedication to this program. Last, but not least, thanks to the community of Chadron for being so welcoming and supportive throughout this experience."
Mullis added that this is a bittersweet time for her. She said it is difficult to leave Chadron and her team, but is excited to pursue the administrative opportunity.
The 2018 Chadron State team had just three seniors. Twelve members of that team are on the current CSC roster, including eight who played in at least 60 sets last fall. Also, in December, Mullis announced the signing of five high school seniors who are due to join the Eagles this fall.
The coach said spring workouts have gone well in both the weight room and on the court.
Mullis’s husband, Cpt. Scot Mullis, is head of the ROTC program at Chadron State and current plans are he will remain in that position for another year, he said. The couple has a daughter, Ruby.