Since 1982, Harry Mullins and the University of Kentucky rifle program has been one in the same. Mullins has been a fixture in the athletics department at Kentucky for over 30 years, first as a skilled student-athlete and the last 26 years as the leader of the nationally prominent rifle program.
Mullins, a former Great American Rifle Conference Coach of the Year in 1994, 2001 and 2007 and 2009, brought Kentucky its first NCAA Rifle Championship in 2011 and has led the rifle program to 13 top five national finishes. In his time at Kentucky, Mullins has established the rifle program into a perennial national contender.
A native of Burgau, Germany, Mullins grew up an "army brat". His father was a sergeant in the military, allowing the family to move repeatedly. The Mullins family spent 11 years in Germany before coming to the United States in 1976 and settling in Indianapolis and Georgia . Mullins began shooting when he joined a shooting club for Army teens. He continued shooting into high school at the nationally prominent Fort Benning Junior Club along with Spencer High School .
Mullins, who did not learn to speak English until the age of eight, became a U.S. citizen at the age of 18. He enrolled at UK and became a commanding smallbore competitor from 1982-86. Mullins claimed the Southeastern Conference smallbore Championship in 1983, 1984, and 1986 before taking the helm of the UK rifle program in 1987. He graduated with a degree in business administration in 1987.
Mullins has coached several great shooters, including 2000 Olympic Gold Medalist Nancy Napoliski and former NCAA Woman Athlete of the Year nominee, Taryn Lewis. Mullins has also helped mentor outstanding young shooters Mary Elsas, a four-time first-team All American in both smallbore and air rifle, and Bradley Whelldon a silver medalist in the 2003 Pan American Games. The rifle program is also perennially one of the most successful academic programs in the nation, as numerous rifle shooters have been honored with academic All-American honors.
Mullins says one of the highlights of his career is the opportunity to help develop student-athletes at his alma matter.
"I enjoy the opportunity to coach at my alma matter," Mullins detailed. "From a coaches' perspective that is a dream come true. As a competitor you establish a bond and pride for the University and to have the opportunity to help develop that pride in student-athletes is an amazing responsibility", Mullins said.
Mullins is married to the former Heather Reister and they have two children Taylor and Ethan.