Sept. 11, 2013
Ole Miss Head Women's Basketball coach, Matt Insell was named the eighth head coach at Ole Miss on March 28, 2013. Insell spent the last five seasons as the top assistant at SEC rival, Kentucky, and helped guide the Wildcats to four 20-win seasons and four trips to the NCAA Tournament in his time in Lexington. Known as one of the top recruiters in collegiate women's basketball, Insell helped UK ink three top-10 recruiting classes and seven McDonald's All-Americans. A coach's son, Insell took some time to share his thoughts on Ole Miss basketball, his assistants and what he does for fun.
Q: You obviously come from a coaching family, with your father, Rick, being the head women's basketball coach at Middle Tennessee, what made you want to make this your career and have you always wanted to be a coach?
Insell: Coaching is something I have always wanted to do. I told my parents at the age of 13 that I was going to be a collegiate coach and was going to be a head coach in the SEC by the age of 30. Luckily, that dream worked out and it's something I don't take for granted. If I wasn't coaching I'm really not sure what I would be doing. I think it's in my blood.
Q: Talk a little bit about being a young head coach.
Insell: I look at age as just a number. Yes I am young, but I am not young in experience. I have been preparing for this job for many years, so what I lack in age I make up in preparation and experience. I expect a lot from myself and put a lot of pressure on myself to succeed at the highest level, which we will do here at Ole Miss.
Q. What is your coaching philosophy and what can Ole Miss fans expect out of a Matt Insell coached team?
Insell: FAST, FASTER and FASTEST! Our teams will play at a very high rate of speed looking to take the opposing teams outside of their comfort zone at all times. Everything we do is a high rate of speed and that will carry over to practices and games. We are going to bring energy and effort at all times. Our players are going to enjoy our style because it allows them to play freely and show their skills at the highest level. It will be fun to watch!!!
Q: Talk about your staff, what does each of them bring to the table?
Insell: I'm very pleased with our style as a staff and how well we work together. Each brings things to the table in recruiting and coaching on the floor -- I really couldn't have assembled a better staff. Their hard work and dedication shows up every day in recruiting and also on the court in helping to developing our players. The thing that sticks out to me about our staff is how we all share the same objective, to win championships here at Ole Miss. That shows in their work every day.
Q: If you had to pick a staff member or player to be stranded on an island with, whom would it be and why?
Insell: We are all connected, so if one of us is on an island then we will all be on the island. This team and staff have a strong bond and we take the approach "we win together and lose together," so if one of us gets stranded on an island than all of us will be there together. I'm also pretty confident we would find a way to get off the island.
Q: When you're not at practice or recruiting, where can we find you?
Insell: I love sitting on my back porch watching sports or spending time at the race track. I am a huge fan of horse racing and have a lot of friends in that industry so I enjoy going to watch the races while spending time with my friends and family.
Q: Who is the funniest member of your staff?
Insell: Eric White (Director of Operations) would have to be the person on staff that brings a lot of laughs to the office, but each member of my staff brings humor in their own way. We are all young so we keep it relaxed in the office. I personally enjoy coming to work with my staff each day.
Q: If you had to pick your all-time starting five, who would it be and why?
Insell: I am a huge NBA fan so this is an interesting question! It is very difficult to name just five players but my all-time starting five of players that I am a fan of would be: Penny Hardaway at the point, Michael Jordan at the shooting guard, Kobe Bryant at small forward, LeBron James at power forward, and in the middle Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon. This lineup reflects the type of teams that I want to coach -- four players being able to play out on the court and a very athletic center that can run and guard multiple positions.
Q: If you had to be a kitchen utensil what would it be and why?
Insell: A stirring spoon! I enjoy mixing different ingredients together and forming them into ONE! Just like recruiting, coaching and putting a roster together.
Q: Finish this sentence: Ole Miss Women's Basketball is __________________
Insell: The future of women's college basketball!!!