Mullen’s appeal unexpectedly found its way to Candice Walls.
A native of Kentucky who was gaining extensive college experience in a wide-ranging variety of categories at high-end universities, Walls said a friend recommended the Mustangs, pointed out that they have had a distinguished legacy recognized nationally -- notably in their athletics -- and were looking for someone in her field.
And getting to work with teenagers on the high-school level may have been the clincher.
So Walls recently joined the Mustangs as Director of Sports Performance and her anticipation for possibilities may only be superseded by her excitement for joining Mullen, moving to Colorado and working with its students.
In the collegiate ranks for 13 years, Walls said she “wanted to try something new,” and “now, I get the opportunity to do something with high schools. It’s developing them and what better way? I’ll get to work with so many more people and will be impacting five times the amount of kids at the university level.”
She added: “I’ve always wanted to challenge myself and Denver is a great city. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Mullen. It’s exciting to not only be at a high school, but one known for its athletics.”
Walls has several good things about herself. After graduating from Towell County High School, she went on to Berea College, where she also captained the basketball team. In earning degrees in health and wellness promotion and a masters’ in exercise science, Walls’ titles have included intern, coach, director and athletic director in the areas of weightlifting, training and nutrition at the likes of Berea, Wake Forest, Texas, The Citadel and the University of Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns. She also has worked with most sports colleges offer.
Recognized by the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association, Walls is certified as a Level 1 Sports Performance Coach through USA Weightlifting and is an active amateur boxer.
“We’re very excited to have her,” Mustangs athletic director Damian Brown said. “We know she will do amazing things and help take our student-athletes to the next level.
“Coming from a college setting, she knows what it takes and we appreciate that.”
Getting oriented with the area, school, staff and students, Walls has begun teaching a couple of classes and said she’s thrilled “to be part of a new administration and a new football coach (head man Jeremy Bennett, who came from nearby D’Evelyn) … they have a vision.”
Said Bennett: “I think she can do some great things for us.”
Indeed, like everyone else, Walls said the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation “has been interesting, for sure, no matter what level,” and “I’ll be heading up all the sports that want to utilize (Mullen’s Spirit Center, which includes its Green Room, Colorado’s largest indoor facility on a prep campus, plus a weight room). I want to get everyone in here and get interns to help run the ship.
“I want them to capitalize on their high-school experience. Even if they don’t go on (to compete in college sports), it teaches them a lifestyle.”