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 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
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 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
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
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 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
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
Hugh Freeze and Ross Bjork embarked on the Rebel Road Trip, the baseball team claimed their weekend series over Alabama that featured the largest crowd of the season and the football program's NFL presence is expected to grow with the... read more
Ole Miss swept a doubleheader Saturday, defeating Alabama 10-2 in Game One and 4-0 in Game Two. As a pitching staff, the Rebels allowed just one earned run and scattered a combined 12 hits with 17 strikeouts compared to just... read more
Ole Miss head football coach Hugh Freeze will team with former All-SEC basketball player Sean Tuohy to represent the Rebels for the fourth straight year and compete for a share of the $520,000 total purse in the ninth annual Chick-fil-A... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewApril 14-20, 2015Men's Tennis- Ole Miss downed No. 22 Vanderbilt 4-1 to advance to the SEC Tournament semifinals for the 16th time in program history.- The Rebels rallied to take the doubles point and then got... read more
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