Ex-ENMU coach named Golden State’s top exec

OAKLAND, Calif. — The Golden State Warriors have named former Eastern New Mexico University coach Larry Riley their top basketball executive.

The Warriors cut ties with Chris Mullin, executive vice president of basketball operations, and replaced him with Riley on Monday.

Riley coached at ENMU from 1978 to 1988.

Riley, an assistant general manager since last November, was promoted to general manager in a statement by team president Robert Rowell, whose rise mirrored Mullin’s fall in recent years.

“It’s never an easy decision to make a change,” said Rowell, who publicly disagreed with Mullin on two important decisions last year. “This case is compounded by the fact it involves Chris Mullin — someone who has provided Bay Area fans with many great memories over the years, as both a player and executive. He’s a class individual who will always be remembered for his accomplishments with the Warriors organization.”

Mullin didn’t immediately return a call to his cell phone, and Nelson wasn’t available for comment. Rowell and Riley scheduled a news conference for today.

Riley, a veteran NBA assistant coach and personnel executive, moved upstairs last November when the Warriors abruptly fired Pete D’Alessandro, Mullin’s longtime right-hand man. Mullin quickly retreated from public view, refusing most interview requests and rarely showing his face to reporters or fans at Oracle Arena.