Insell Returns To Old Stomping Grounds

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Insell will lead the Rebels against his former Kentucky team on Thursday night.
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Insell will lead the Rebels against his former Kentucky team on Thursday night.
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

Feb. 13, 2014

By Austin Miller, OleMissSports.com

OXFORD, Miss. -- Ole Miss head coach Matt Insell returns to Memorial Coliseum, where he sat at the home team bench and roamed the sidelines for the previous five seasons as an assistant coach for Kentucky, as the Rebels travel to Lexington, Ky., for a midweek matchup with the Wildcats.

Insell helped guide Kentucky to four 20-win seasons, four NCAA Tournament appearances and three trips to the Elite Eight in his time in Lexington, which he credits for his growth and development as a coach and the opportunity to become an SEC head coach.

"My time at Kentucky is the reason I'm here today," Insell said. "It's something that I cherish. Looking back on my five years there, and the people that I got to meet when I was there and the people that I became good friends with still to this day, and there are memories there that I will never forget.

"There are games that I can rewatch from my time at Kentucky that I can still get emotional from because of how big of a win it was in helping building that program into the program it is today because it was not that six years ago when we got there. Over that five years, I was a part of helping that program become what it is today, and that's something I take a lot of pride in."

In his five seasons at Kentucky, Insell coached alongside seventh-year Kentucky head coach Matthew Mitchell, and they helped turn Kentucky into a national power in women's basketball.

The two remain great friends and they talk usually at least once a week, sometimes two or three times a week. From Mitchell, Insell learned the value of consistency and the process of building a program.

"The most important that I have tried to implement in this program that we did at Kentucky was consistency," said Insell, referencing the turnaround at Kentucky, as well as similar turnarounds at South Carolina in women's basketball and Indiana in men's basketball.

"If I come in today and let yesterday affect me today, then I'm not going to get better today, and so I have to come in with that same consistent attitude. That's something that Matthew taught me, and that's something that I always take with me. It's being consistent every day with every thing that you do and attacking every day to win that day and not let yesterday's result affect today's result."

The unfamiliar feeling of returning to Kentucky, Insell said, will really hit him when he walks out before the game and goes down the away team bench, having sat on the home team bench for the previous five seasons.

It will also hit Insell when he sees many of his former players, really for the first time since he was named Ole Miss head coach. Insell remains supportive of them, now watching Kentucky as a fan, adding that he wants them to win every game except for one, and that's the game against Ole Miss.

"It was pretty cool after we won our first SEC game that several of their players reached out to me and congratulated me on our first SEC win over Mississippi State," Insell said. "I think the world of those players.

"I sat in those players' houses with Coach Mitchell and we convinced those kids to come to Kentucky, so they will always have a special place in my heart. Some of the ex-players that played for us when I was there have also reached out to let me know that they will be at the game and they're going to come by shootaround."

As much as Thursday will be about recounting old memories and reuniting with the people who supported him from his time in Lexington, Insell's focus is on how he can help his players win against Kentucky and get his team back going so they can end this last part of the season on a high note.

"Don't play this out of, `Coach, we are going to do this for you,' said Insell, aware that him returning to Kentucky will be on the minds of his players. "Let's do this for Ole Miss. Let's do this for us. Let's do this for our team and let's get a big win to help us continue in our process of building our program to get our program back to where we want it to get to."

Austin Miller is a writer and blogger for OleMissSports.com. He joined the staff in June 2013 after serving as sports editor of the Daily Mississippian. Follow him on Twitter @austinkmiller

 

Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    Blog
    • Five Rebels Tabbed Preseason All-SEC in The Birmingham News

      Tuesday, June 30, 2015 -

      Five Ole Miss Rebels were chosen as preseason All-SEC selections by some of the people who work closest with the student-athletes, the football media relations directors. The 14 football media relations directors of the Southeastern Conference institutions voted in the... read more

    • Lindy's Sports Gives Seven Rebels Preseason Recognition

      Wednesday, June 24, 2015 -

      The preseason accolades just don't stop for the Ole Miss football team. Everywhere you look, Rebels can be found on preseason All-America teams. Lindy's Sports recognized seven Rebels for preseason honors, including four All-Americans. Four Ole Miss Football Rebels were... read more

    • Five Rebels Named Preseason All-America by Athlon Sports

      Tuesday, June 23, 2015 -

      With the season just 74 days away, members of the 2015 Ole Miss football team continue to earn recognition on Preseason All-America lists. Athlon Sports, the latest media outlet to release its 2015 college football preseason All-America team, gave five... read more

    • Sporting News Tabs Four Rebels to Preseason All-America Teams

      Monday, June 15, 2015 - Football

      Preseason All-America football teams continue to roll in, and Ole Miss has been well represented each time.Today, the Sporting News unveiled its preseason All-America first and second teams, which includes a total of four Rebels.OT Laremy Tunsil and DT Robert... read more

    • Athlon Sports Names Nine Rebels Preseason All-SEC

      Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - Football

      Individual preseason accolades continue to pile up for the Ole Miss football team as college football magazines look toward the 2015 season. Athlon Sports is the latest magazine to release its preseason all-conference teams, June 10; the magazine named nine... read more

    • Eleven Rebels Garner Phil Steele Preseason Honors

      Monday, June 1, 2015 - Football

      The start of summer heat and vacations is also the start of another tradition - preseason college football magazines.One of the first to produce a magazine every year is Phil Steele, whose 2015 version includes about as many Ole Miss... read more

    • Football Signees Report for Summer Classes

      Friday, May 29, 2015 - Football

      Although they will not begin competing for the Rebels until the fall, several members of the 2015 signing class have arrived at Ole Miss to begin their college journey this summer. The first of two summer sessions offered at the... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (April 28-May 4, 2015)

      Monday, May 4, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewApril 28-May 4, 2015Baseball - The Rebels started the week defeating the Bulldogs, 11-1 in the annual Governor's Cup. The 10-run win for the Rebels marked the largest margin of victory in the 36-year history... read more

    • VIDEO: Rebel Road Trip 2015

      Monday, May 4, 2015 - Athletics

      Rebel Road Trip 2015 from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • More on Steelers' Selection of Golson

      Friday, May 1, 2015 - Football

      Welcome to Pittsburgh...and welcome to #SteelersNation, @Quez_G! #SteelersDraft pic.twitter.com/oY8wZc10Kk-- Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) May 2, 2015 Congrats Senquez Golson! Drafted 56th overall in the 2015 #NFLDRAFT by the Pittsburgh Steelers. #HottyToddy #FinsUp pic.twitter.com/EPGayDNOu7-- Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) May 2, 2015 Ole... read more

    • Six Rebels Among Inaugural Scott County HOF Class

      Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - Athletics

      Six men with ties to Ole Miss were part of the inaugural class of 25 athletes and coaches inducted into the Scott County Hall of Fame this past Saturday at Roosevelt State Park in Morton. It is believed that this... read more

    • Freeze, Tuohy Conclude Play at Charity Golf Tournament

      Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - Football

      In a tie for 7th place at 7-under, @OleMissFB takes home $30,000 in charity and scholarship. #CFAPBGolf pic.twitter.com/qd0JzilyYR-- #CFAPBGolf (@CFAPeachBowl) April 28, 2015 The Ole Miss team of head football coach Hugh Freeze and Sean Tuohy turned in a strong... read more

    • Tennis Teams React to NCAA Tournament Selections

      Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - Men's Tennis

      The Ole Miss men's and women's tennis team learned their postseason destinations, as the men's and women's NCAA Tournament fields were announced Tuesday. The men, ranked No. 13 in the nation, are the No. 14 overall seed and will be... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (April 21-27, 2015)

      Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewApril 21-27, 2015Baseball - During the five-game homestand, Ole Miss went 3-2 with a midweek win over Central Arkansas as well as claiming a weekend series over Alabama.  - The Rebels recorded 68 hits throughout... read more

    • Freeze Wins Long Drive Competition

      Monday, April 27, 2015 - Football

      With a distance of 287-yards, the 2015 #CFAPBGolf Coaches Division Long Drive Champion is @CoachHughFreeze! pic.twitter.com/ProCdgbbg9-- #CFAPBGolf (@CFAPeachBowl) April 27, 2015 Ole Miss head football coach Hugh Freeze took home the long drive title at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge... read more