By Larry Jacobson
Sometimes, even the best decisions are not easy ones.
So as Ryan Mulnix steps in to lead the boys basketball program at Western High School, he does so while acknowledging it was difficult to leave behind his beloved girls team at Reading High.
“It was definitely hard to leave,” Mulnix said. “I was a teacher in the system for eight years and I spent six years as girls coach, and I really think we got things rolling there in a positive direction. I’m pleased with the direction of the Reading program and I think they’re poised to continue that success.”
The opportunity to take over the Western boys program was too good to pass up on a variety of fronts.
“A big thing for my wife (Kellie) and I was the opportunity to be closer to home,” Mulnix said. “I’m a Springport guy and she’s from Concord, so this allowed us to move back to the area and be closer to family. The Western School System is absolutely top-notch and their new facilities are fantastic. As a coach, it’s amazing.”
The Panthers began playing in a new gymnasium at the beginning of the 2013-2014 season.
And the bedrocks of Mulnix’s girls’ teams at Reading will become the staples of his Panthers teams.
“I’m not very complicated,” he said. “I’m a firm believer in earning your stripes on defense, because if you can lock down on defense you can win every time you step on the court. Our teams will play extremely hard and we will push the ball on offense. We always want to be the attackers.”
At the moment, however, patience is the key. The school year is over a month away and Mulnix is still working on the logistics of the move.
“Right now I just need to get settled,” he said. “I’ve had a chance to work with some of the kids on a limited basis and I’ll be working at an upcoming basketball camp at Spring Arbor University and a few Western players will be there. There are a lot of things going on right now but I’m very, very excited to get going.”