ROCKFORD, Ill. — Rockford University has named Jason Mulligan as its new Director of Athletics. Mulligan will assume his duties as head of Rockford's NCAA Division III athletics programs on June 1, 2017. Mulligan brings with him an extensive background in coaching and administration at both the collegiate and high school level. He has spent 11 years at two top-tier NCAA Division III institutions, Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Ind., and the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine.
Mulligan has spent the past five years as the athletic director at Western Boone High School, located just north of Indianapolis, Ind. During his tenure, the program claimed 22 conference, sectional and regional championship titles in both girls and boys programs. Mulligan also helped oversee improvements on nearly all of the Western Boone athletic facilities.
"I am truly honored and humbled to join the Rockford family and I want to thank Rockford University for their confidence in me," said Mulligan. "I am impressed with the vision and contagious energy the University clearly has for supporting their student-athletes and for growing its athletic programs. I am excited to get started!"
Rockford University is home to approximately 920 undergraduate students, with an average of 25 percent of the full-time undergraduate population participating in intercollegiate athletics each year. Rockford sponsors 14 intercollegiate varsity teams (seven men's teams and seven women's teams) and several junior varsity teams. Many Regents student-athletes compete in multiple sports.
Vice President for Enrollment Management Matt Phillips adds, "Jason has shown himself to be a strong and committed leader at the high school and Division III collegiate levels. He has worked with student-athletes and coaches to bring about significant positive change in the programs of which he has been a part. I look forward to Jason bringing that same enthusiasm and leadership to Regent Athletics, where we are focused on the success of our student-athletes, both in the classroom and the field of play."
Prior to Western Boone, Mulligan was the Head Men's Basketball Coach and Director of Athletics Facilities at the University of New England. In just his first season, Mulligan orchestrated the biggest turnaround in NCAA Division III. The Nor'easters earned the school's first ever berth into the ECAC New England Tournament, where they upset top-seeded Emerson College in the opening round en route to an appearance in the championship game. His second season he led the team to the school's first ever Commonwealth Coast Conference Championship and NCAA tournament appearance. They set a record for most wins in a season- 24 (including 19 in a row, 2nd longest streak in the nation). For his work he was named TCCC Coach of the Year.
A native of Highland, Indiana, Mulligan came to UNE from Wabash College, an NCAA III institution in Crawfordsville, Ind. There he served as Assistant Director of Athletics and Assistant Men's Basketball Coach for six years. While at Wabash, Mulligan played a significant role in the overall operations of the athletic department. He served on the College's Integrated Marketing Committee, was the faculty advisor for the campus's Student Athletics Advisory Committee (SAAC) and ran NCAA compliance for all sports.
He was responsible for game site management for all sports and also worked as the athletics department liaison to the admissions office as the Coordinator of Student-Athlete Recruitment.
Mulligan is a graduate of Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Ill., where he was a four-year member of the basketball team, a program that made four consecutive appearances at the NAIA Division I National Tournament and earned a berth in the 2000 national semifinal. In that same year ONU broke a school record for wins (30) and Mulligan was named Most Improved Player. He and his teammates were inducted into the ONU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2016.
He earned his Master of Science in Education from Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Jason and his wife, Kara, have two children.