SIDEBAR: Ole Miss Finds Rising Star in McPhee-McCuin

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Yolett McPhee-McCuin's name consistently trickled into the conversations that Ole Miss Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics Ross Bjork had in his pursuit of a new face for his basketball program.

Eventually, she became the frontrunner in Bjork's mind, and on Friday afternoon McCuin spoke with a sense of eagerness and excitement as she was introduced as the Rebels' next hoops coach inside The Pavilion.

"She is a proven winner," Bjork said. "She is a recruiting machine. She develops players. The interpersonal relationships she develops with our players is a must in college athletics."

McCuin, or "Coach Yo" as she as she is affectionately known by many, comes to Oxford via Jacksonville University, where she won an Atlantic Sun championship and took the program to three consecutive postseason births. She owns the most 20-win seasons in the history of the school and the conference title was also the first in program history

"People kept saying 'Have you hear about Coach Yo? Have you spoke with Coach Yo? Yo, have you met with Coach Yo?'" Bjork recalled. "When you do you will be blown away, and that is exactly what happened in the process. This is her calling. She was made to teach and lead."

McCuin has worked in the Big East and the ACC, as well as across the globe overseas.
Her teams are known for their physicality and toughness by her colleagues. She says the product she puts on the floor is a reflection of herself.

"It will be a fun style," McCuin said. "People want to have fun. It will be hard work. It will be gritty and blue collar-like. But we are going to have a lot of fun on the floor."

She has a vision of what she wants to build and says the first step in the process is to assess the roster and then bring in staff to help recruit and pad depth.

McCuin called Ole Miss "prime real estate" between the facilities and the league it competes in. She's long wanted an opportunity in the SEC and now finally has her shot.

"I was blown away," McCuin said. "When Ole Miss opened up I was so excited. This is the SEC. This is the best conference in the country. I do my research, too. Ross is a phenomenal leader, and his vision is infectious. We can do the unthinkable and unimaginable here."

She boasts a 94-63 record as a head coach and knows it will take a lot to build the program back up to a high standard, but she is prepared for it.

"I am a fierce competitor," McCuin said. "If you come to the games you are going to enjoy the product on the floor."

The daughter of a basketball coach and a teacher, Bjork said this is what McCuin was meant to do, and she seemed eager to get to work in her new home.

"I am going to give you everything I have," McCuin said. "There will be no coach in the country that is going to outwork me. I believe there is opportunity here to be successful, but it takes work. Hopefully you can join us for the ride."

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    Tiffany J. Moore said:

    This is amazing with what he have done so far! Hope that he'll achieve more in the future!

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    Fiftyyears fan said:

    How can you have five straight top 25 recruiting classes and look as bad as Ole Miss has this year. Easy lack of coaching fundamentals. Look at Mason at Vandy, nothing but 2 and 3 star recruits out of high school and he developers players that want to win. Hugh freeze has 3, 4 & 5 recruits and he expects them to win because of what they were in High School. Mr. Freeze you have not been teaching the fundamentals of football or winning in life. Mr. Freeze you have quit on your players because you have some false expectations of what they are instead of what you can develop in them. Either do your job or quit. Oh yea, please quit running your smoke and mirrors offense, everyone has figured it out. Run a physical offense that can open up holes for your running backs and then your pass attack want require 12 are 14 four and five star receivers. Mr. Freeze you have problems and you need to know that you are not smarter than the rest of the coaches in the SEC.

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    Karen Holden said:

    Not every pass can be caught. Too low, too short whatever. Not every Kelly pass is perfect. Records were broken by receivers also. But they sre not going to catch every ball thrown. The loss to Auburn was not one players fault. You win or lose as a team.

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    Trent browning said:

    Hey I was just wandering if these are the only 2 olemiss players signing. If there are more signing please respond to me ASAP. Also wondering if neil everett will sign any autographs. Thank you very much

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