A familiar face will make an appearance tomorrow night in Rupp Arena. Matthew Mitchell, the winningest coach in UK Women's Basketball history, will be honored during the game. The ceremony was suppose to take place last season but couldn't get worked out due to covid restrictions, so it will take place Thursday night.
No. 14 Kentucky hosts DePaul on December 9th at 7 pm, inside Rupp Arena.
Mitchell was the coach at the University of Kentucky for 13 years before announcing his retirement in November 2020. During his tenure, he managed to win 303 games as the programs 7th all-time Head Coach.
One thing you should note is that it only took him 6 seasons to amass the most wins in program history, taking place on March 3, 2013, with 139 wins. Mitchell also joins some elite company as he is just third basketball coach for the University of Kentucky (men or women's) to win 300 or more games, joining the likes of Adolph Rupp and John Calipari.
The native of Louisville, Mississippi, won 129 career Southeastern Conference games, which at the time of his retirement was eighth most in league history. He was a three-time SEC Coach of the Year and became the eighth coach in league history to win multiple honors. Mitchell led UK to postseason play in 11 of his 13 seasons, including a school-record eight consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances from 2010-2017. During his tenure, Mitchell led Kentucky to three NCAA Elite Eight finishes (2010, 2012 and 2013) and five Sweet 16 appearances. One of the most memorable seasons for Mitchell was when he led UK to its first SEC Regular Season Championship in 30 years during the 2011-12 season.
Many of his former players and staff are expected to be in attendance for his honoring, and many of fans from across the Big Blue Nation will pack in to pay their respects to what he did for that program.
Many will miss his excellent coaching, but if you ask me, I'll miss his infamous dances at Big Blue Madness, and his top tier media skills when presented the opportunity to be interviewed. He definitely knew how to handle the position of being the coach at UK, being a lifelong Kentuckian himself.
Glad to see Coach Mitchell is doing much better after dealing with a few medical issues over the last two years.