Mull’s decades of dominance builds dynasty
CHICKAMAUGA, Ga. (WDEF) — Gordon Lee softball has won nine state championships in the last ten years — including its fifth straight last fall. The one constant through it all has been head coach Dana Mull.
“I hate to lose,” Mull said. “I tell my girls, you have to hate to lose more than you like to win.”
Thankfully, ,Mull hasn’t done much losing in 19 years at Gordon Lee. In fact, Mull has won 87 percent of games as she closes in on 600 career wins this year.
“I guess it starts 18 years ago,” Mull said. “The girls, they were successful, but I just think they really needed somebody to focus them on the little things. I guess teaching the little things is big to me, and I still preach that to this day. Little things win games.”
Big games. Like 11 state championships – the most in GHSA fast pitch history.
“It’s just about player development, developing these athletes,” Mull said. “When I came here that first year, I really didn’t know what to expect. I was the graduate assistant at UTC, so I was going from the college level down to the high school level. But when I got here and started working with the girls, I realized playing on that last day was something we could shoot for, and like I said, that’s been our goal ever since.”
Softball is just in Mull’s blood. Her grandfather played men’s fast pitch in Chattanooga, while her father, Frank Reed, has coached the Mocs for 20 years.
“I think my dad kind of instilled those things in me at a young age. When I was four and started softball, he said he knew I was going to be a competitor just by the way I was,” Mull said. “I think the year I probably learned the most was the year we got to coach together. We kind of got to run things by each other. I got to chart pitches while he called pitches, and I just learned so much that year on just how to call pitches and things of that nature. That was probably the neatest experience.”
Two decades of dominance — with more to come.
“Everybody always asks me, ‘Are you going to win another one?’ Well, that’s the goal,” Mull said. “You never know what’s going to happen. You got to have a little luck along the way, too. But that’s always the goal – to win. But I think the future looks bright for Gordon Lee softball.”