SWARTHMORE, Pa.—Swarthmore College sociology professor and men's tennis head coach Mike Mullan has retired after a long and storied career with the Garnet. Mullan brought Swarthmore three NCAA National Championships, the first in 1981, then again in 1985 and the third in 1990. Swarthmore also finished in the top four in the country in six more seasons.
Mullan began coaching with the Garnet in the 1978-79 school year and immediately led Swarthmore to seven consecutive Middle Atlantic Conference Championships.
After winning his seventh straight and the program's 26th overall MAC title, Mullan and the Garnet competed as NCAA Division III independents until joining the Centennial Conference in the 2007-08 school year. Swarthmore received national rankings in 32 seasons since rankings were made available in 1982. In his career, Mullan's teams have won more than 400 matches.
Mullan coached 20 different student-athletes to All-American status during his tenure and influenced and instructed hundreds more in his time with Swarthmore. The indoor tennis center on campus, built in 2000 as a gift from Jerry Kohlberg '46 was named in Mullan's honor.
A two-time Pennsylvania high school singles champion, Mullan played No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles at the University of California at Berkeley before playing international tennis. The highlight of his playing days was earning a spot in the U.S. Open. A noted clinician, he has conducted tennis teaching programs in Afghanistan, Burma, Indonesia, Japan, Nepal, Singapore and Thailand. He holds PhDs in sociology and history and taught in the department of sociology and anthropology at Swarthmore College. Courses Mullan has taught include "Sport, War and the Construction of the Male Identity" and "The Social Development of Sport; Sport and Nationalism."