Yesterday, Matt Insell was introduced by Athletics Director Ross Bjork as the new head coach for Ole Miss Women's Basketball. He becomes the 4th head coach of the team in just over a one-year time frame. At the end of the 2011-2012 season, coach Renee Ladner resigned in the wake of back-to-back losing seasons. Newly inducted AD Ross Bjork made the first hire of his tenure in Adrian Wiggins, head coach of the Fresno St. Bulldogs. However, Wiggins was placed on administrative leave and eventually fired after an investigation of his staff was conducted by the university over allegations of improper recruiting contacts and academic misconduct by members of his staff. Interim coach Brett Frank then inherited a mess of a situation, leading the Rebels to their third straight losing season and the worst record in the history of the program.
(TO WATCH INSELL'S INTRODUCTORY PRESS CONFERENCE, CLICK HERE)
Insell began studying the game of basketball at age 13. Now 30 years old, he becomes the youngest coach out of the 28 head coaches of SEC men's and women's basketball. Since 2008, he had served as an assistant coach to Matthew Mitchell at the University of Kentucky, where he played a vital role on the recruiting trail and in player development. Insell is said to have been key in putting together four consecutive Top-15 recruiting classes for the Wildcats, including 7 McDonald's All-Americans. During his time at Kentucky, the Wildcats won the SEC Regular Season Championship and made it to two Elite 8's.
In his press conference, Coach Insell remarked that, even after suffering its worst record ever last season, Ole Miss was not a program in need of being built. Ole Miss women's basketball was built long ago by the likes of Van Chancellor and Carol Ross. The history and the reputation of the program is there, he said. Rather than being built, it just needs to be renovated. Coach Insell's philosophy all centers around tempo and athleticism, much like the philosophy of men's basketball coach Andy Kennedy. Insell aims to take teams out of their comfort zones by playing a physically-demanding fast-paced style of basketball. On the recruiting trail, Insell was not shy in saying that his staff will go after the best of the best.
Through the roller-coaster ride of the past year, the Lady Rebs have been under 3 different coaches, learning 3 different playbooks and 3 different philosophies. More than anything, the new hire brings much needed stability to an unstable situation.
Coach Insell is a young, energetic man, and we can't wait to see what his experience and philosophy will bring for women's basketball.
You can follow Coach Insell on Twitter: @minsell
From all readers and participants at The Cup, welcome to Rebel Nation Coach Insell. Hotty Toddy!