Flowery Branch athletic director Shannon Benton doesn’t think that replacing Duke Mullis as boys basketball coach will be an easy task. Mullis informed Benton on Sunday and his players Monday of his decision to step down after five seasons and a 9-18 record this season. The Falcons made the postseason in his first year at the school, posting a 15-12 record.
“Coach Mullis is one of the most ethical people and best coaches I’ve ever been around,” Benton said. “He’s extremely detail-oriented and one of the best at the Xs and Os I’ve ever seen.”
Just this season, Benton can point to some success that Flowery Branch obtained: The Falcons beat Heritage three times in Region 8-AAAAA play (once in the region tournament), and also beat Class AAAAA state runner-up Gainesville on Dec. 11.
However, losing five out of six in region play late in the regular season put the Falcons in as a lower seed.
“We were competitive, but not able to get over that hump,” Benton added.
Mullis did not return calls for comment.
Benton said Mullis will finish up the current school year on faculty, but indicated the former coach will probably pursue other coaching opportunities for the future. Flowery Branch last posted a winning record under Mullis in 2010.
Before coaching at Flowery Branch, Mullis had a long string of success at Chattahoochee High, taking the program to the Class AAAAA playoffs six times between 2001-2007.
“I certainly wish Coach Mullis the best,” Benton said. “Our teams were always very well prepared and I know what he brought to the sidelines.”
Flowery Branch’s athletic director says the school will start sifting through applicants shortly, but put no firm timetable on making a hire. Benton feels like the program is attractive enough that it will likely draw applicants from the nearby area.