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
With a split of road matches at South Carolina and No. 8 Georgia, the Ole Miss men's tennis team moved up one spot to No. 13 in the nation entering the Southeastern Conference Men's Tennis Championship this week in College... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review April 7-13, 2015 Baseball - Ole Miss finished the week with a 2-2 mark to remain a .500 overall record for the season (18-18) as well as 7-8 in SEC play. After dropping a... read more
The baseball team claimed claimed their second series of the second over the nation's top-ranked team in dramatic fashion. The football team wrapped up spring practice. And the men's and women's tennis teams closed out their respective regular seasons and... read more
At one point, co-offensive coordinator Dan Werner said, all three quarterbacks had completed around 66 percent of their passes, a testament to how close the competition has been this spring. Going into the Grove Bowl, Freeze said one had a... read more
Former Ole Miss head coach Billy Brewer almost did not sign Chucky Mullins, whose memory has been honored with the Chucky Mullins Courage Award. Nate Wayne, a four-year letterman for the Rebels and the 1997 recipient of the award, who... read more
#RebelNation here are the Red and Blue rosters for tomorrow's Regions Bank Grove Bowl. See you there! pic.twitter.com/FZptUEkW4P-- Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) April 10, 2015 Three areas to watch as Ole Miss splits into two teams for the annual Regions... read more
Junior cornerback Tee Shepard's story has been well-documented. Shepard is hearing impaired, but since he has arrived at Ole Miss, he has been the beneficiary of new hearing technology that has allowed him to hear sounds, such as a coach's... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewMarch 31-April 6, 2015Baseball - Ole Miss finished the week with a 2-2 mark to remain a .500 overall record for the season (16-16). - The Rebels claimed a midweek victory over Memphis before dropping... read more
Six former Rebels begin the 2015 Major League Baseball on opening day rosters. Chris Coghlan, Zack Cozart and Seth Smith all started or are slated to start on opening day for their respective teams. Lance Lynn and Drew Pomeranz will begin the season... read more
The reigning SEC Player of the Year, Nik Scholtz decided to return for his senior season, wanting to give Ole Miss and Oxford one more season.Playing in perhaps his last home match at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center Saturday, Scholtz gave... read more