OXFORD, Miss. - Matt Insell, who has spent the last five seasons as an assistant coach with the nationally-ranked University of Kentucky women's basketball program, has been named head coach of the Ole Miss women's basketball team, athletics director Ross Bjork announced today.
Insell has helped guide Kentucky to four 20-win seasons and four trips to the NCAA Tournament in his time in Lexington. The Wildcats have ended the last three seasons ranked in the top-25 and are currently ranked No. 7 heading into the team's Sweet Sixteen game Saturday.
Insell, who was responsible for the guards while also having recruiting and player development duties, served as the top assistant coach and helped UK ink three top-10 recruiting classes and seven McDonald's All-Americans.
"I'm very excited to be the new women's basketball coach at the University of Mississippi," Insell said. "This is an opportunity I've had my eye on for a long time and I just can't put into words how excited I am to be leading this team. I promise you this - we are going to put a team on the floor that is going to make the Rebel Nation very happy.
"I want to thank Matthew Mitchell and the University of Kentucky for allowing me to be a part of the Big Blue Nation for the past five years. I am thankful to all the players I've had the pleasure of coaching and they will always hold a special place in my heart. I am committed to finishing my job at Kentucky on a high note as we prepare to take the floor in the Sweet 16 on Saturday."
Insell has been instrumental in helping turn Kentucky into a national power in women's basketball. Picked to finish 11th in the SEC during the 2009-10 season, Kentucky made an Elite Eight run that year and another during the 2011-12 season. This season, the team has advanced to the Sweet 16 while recording a 29-5 overall record.
During his time at Kentucky, Insell helped develop guard A'dia Mathies, a two-time SEC Player of the Year and All-America candidate, and Bria Goss who was named SEC Freshman of the Year.
"We are thrilled to welcome Matt Insell to the University of Mississippi and the Ole Miss family as our new women's basketball coach," Bjork said. "Our search to find the right head coach took us to all corners of the country as we attracted top coaches from the basketball community. Coach Insell has coaching in his veins and was destined to be a head coach from day one. Coach Insell is viewed by many in college athletics as the top assistant coach in the country and his expertise in game planning, strategy, recruiting, and the student-athlete experience has been well chronicled.
"Being part of a re-building job at the University of Kentucky has enabled Coach Insell to gain the necessary requirements needed of our new staff as we re-capture the legacy that is Lady Rebel Basketball. He is the perfect fit to make this happen and we are excited he is joining our team. We wish him and the UK team well in the rest of the NCAA tournament."
Prior to Kentucky, Insell was the Director of Basketball Operations at Louisiana Tech under Coach Chris Long. Before that, he was considered one of the top AAU coaches in the country, coaching the Tennessee Flight, a Nike Elite Travel Program, for three years.
Insell made a national name for himself after coaching 41 of his former AAU players to play Division I basketball, including former Wildcats Victoria Dunlap and Crystal Riley. He also coached the Shelbyville Sports Shop 15-Under team to the AAU National Championship title in 2004.
Insell, 30, earned valuable basketball experience while attending the University of Tennessee from 2001-2005. He worked closely with both the men's and women's basketball programs, serving as a student assistant/video coordinator under former men's head coach Buzz Peterson and as an instructor at Pat Summitt's summer basketball camps. The Shelbyville, Tenn., native transferred to Middle Tennessee State during the 2005-06 season where his father, Rick Insell, is the head women's basketball coach. He went on to earn his bachelor's degree in political science from MTSU in 2007.
THE INSELL FILE:
Personal Full Name: Matthew Ollen Insell Birthday: September 22, 1982 Hometown: Shelbyville, Tenn. High School: Shelbyville Central HS College: Middle Tennessee, `07 Degree: Bachelor's degree in Political Science
Coaching Career 2013-present: Head coach, Ole Miss 2008-2013: Assistant Coach, Kentucky 2007-08: Director of Basketball Operations, Louisiana Tech 2001-07: Head coach, AAU Tennessee Flight
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewJan. 20-26, 2015Men's Basketball - Senior guard Jarvis Summers scored 4 points in the final 26.6 seconds to lift Ole Miss to a 72-71 victory over Florida Saturday. Summers scored a team-high 16 points, including... read more
Classes started on the Ole Miss campus this past week, as the men's and women's basketball teams enter the heart of Southeastern Conference play. Some of the spring sports have started their 2015 seasons, while others are gearing up for... read more
Former Ole Miss safety Cody Prewitt capped an impressive week at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, with a game-high five tackles in the game itself Saturday. His former teammate, cornerback Senquez Golson sat out the game with a hamstring... read more
Ole Miss closes out a three-game stretch in which they will have faced three consecutive ranked opponents when they welcome No. 18 Mississippi State on Thursday night. The Rebels are 1-1 through the first two games of the stretch, having... read more
Photo GalleryCody Prewitt and Senquez Golson will represent Ole Miss in the Senior Bowl, which will take place Saturday at 3 p.m. CT from Mobile, Alabama, and will be televised by the NFL Network. The duo have already had a busy... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewJan. 13-19, 2015Men's Basketball - Ole Miss thrashed No. 19 Arkansas 96-82 on Saturday. The Rebels picked up their first true road win over a ranked opponent since 2003 and scored the second-most points ever... read more
The Ole Miss men's and women's basketball teams both made some history, while the men's and women's tennis teams started their spring seasons. National Signing Day (Feb. 4) and the start of baseball season (Feb. 13) are less than a... read more
After an up-and-down non-conference slate that included wins over Creighton, Cincinnati and Oregon, all away from home, and losses to Charleston Southern and Western Kentucky, both at home, Ole Miss learned a lot about itself in the first week of... read more
Ole Miss football finished the 2014 football season with a 9-4 record and a top-20 final national rankings in both polls. The Rebels come in at No. 17 in the Associated Press poll and No. 19 in the Amway Coach... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewJan. 6-12, 2015Women's Basketball - Ole Miss went 2-0 on the week with a road win at Florida and a win at home against Alabama, moving to 13-4 overall and 3-1 in SEC action while... read more
The Ole Miss men's basketball team opened SEC play, while the Ole Miss women's basketball team continued SEC play, as we enter the heart of college basketball season. Over the weekend, the men's and women's teams posted wire-to-wire wins on... read more
Ole Miss looks to reverse history, as the Rebels (9-4) travel to No. 1 Kentucky tonight (6 p.m., SEC Network), the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams. Ole Miss is 0-15 all-time against the nation's top ranked team, last playing... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewDec. 29, 2014-Jan. 5, 2015Football- The No. 9 Ole Miss football team finished the 2014 football season with a 9-4 record, its best since 2009, after a 42-3 defeat to No. 6 TCU in the... read more