A highly respected industry leader who has guided University of Oregon athletics to unprecedented heights, Rob Mullens is entering his 10th year as the Ducks’ athletic director.
The five core goals of Oregon athletics are as follows: an exceptional student-athlete experience, a culture of excellence, enhance resources to match expectations, compete for championships in all sports, and broaden, unite and strengthen the Oregon family. Those pillars — student-athlete experience, academic excellence and broad-based competitive excellence — comprise the foundation for Mullens as he oversees nearly 500 student-athletes and a budget of $123 million.
Mullens is in his second year as the chairman of the College Football Playoff Committee, and the 2019 season will mark his fourth year overall on the committee. He also serves on the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee’s Collegiate Advisory Council, a first-of-its-kind group established to strengthen Olympic and Paralympic sports in the American collegiate system while facilitating the student-athlete pathway to national team representation and enhancing the narrative around collegiate Olympic and Paralympic sport programming on campus.
Mullens was named the University’s 12th director of intercollegiate athletics on July 15, 2010, after arriving from the University of Kentucky, where he served as deputy director of athletics and managed day-to-day operations for Kentucky’s 22-sport athletics department, with an annual operating budget of $79 million.
During Mullens’ tenure, Oregon volleyball has appeared in the 2013 national championship game and advanced to the Elite Eight in 2018, while Oregon softball has made six trips to the Women’s College World Series. There have also been top-10 national finishes from acrobatics and tumbling, men’s cross country and men’s indoor and outdoor track and field, and NCAA Tournament appearances by women’s golf and men’s and women’s tennis.
Aided by an Elite Eight appearance by the men’s basketball team and an NCAA quarterfinals finish for women’s golf, the Ducks’ three team championships helped carry them to a 10th-place Directors’ Cup finish, the then-highest in program history and the first top-10 finish. Oregon and Oklahoma were the only programs in Division I athletics to win three or more NCAA team titles in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 academic years, and Oregon was the only athletics department in the nation to win multiple NCAA team titles in five consecutive academic years from 2013-17.
The 50-year-old Mullens earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s in sport management from West Virginia University in 1991 and 1993, respectively. He and his wife, Jane, have two sons — Cooper and Tanner.