JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. — Carson-Newman College has named Mike Mincey the head women's basketball coach, athletic director David Barger announced on Friday at a press conference on the Carson-Newman campus.
Mincey becomes the fourth head coach in Lady Eagle history.
"Coach Mincey has been preparing for this opportunity for a long, long time as a Division I and Division II assistant coach," Barger said. "His spiritual convictions and personal integrity coupled with his basketball skills make him an excellent choice for this position. We are excited about the future of Lady Eagle basketball and even more excited about what he will do to minister to every aspect of the young ladies' lives."
Mincey will give the Lady Eagle program a familiar feel after serving the previous three seasons as an assistant coach under Dean Walsh, who was at the helm of the program for the last 10 seasons and stepped down as the fourth winningest coach in South Atlantic conference history.
"For me this is a dream come true," Mincey said. "I thank God for giving me this platform to share with others. My job is to make sure my players know they are here as a student first and an athlete second. If I care about my student athletes as more than just basketball players, winning will take care of itself."
"Having lived in east Tennessee practically my entire life and being very familiar with Carson-Newman, I feel very fortunate to be the next women's basketball coach. This is a great institution that carries the same values I have for myself and our team."
Mincey is no stranger to the Carson-Newman community. Along with serving as an assistant coach for the Lady Eagles the last three seasons, he was also a part of the Carson-Newman men's basketball program during the 2005-06 season under former head coach Dale Clayton.
During Mincey's time as an assistant at Mossy Creek, the Lady Eagles won 57 games, averaging 19 wins per season, and made back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 2009 and 2010. He assisted in all facets of the program as he was the primary guard coach, strength and conditioning coach and was responsible for film editing and breakdown. He also handled the academic coordinator duties, with the Lady Eagles having a team GPA of over 3.0 the last two seasons.
In Mincey's second year in 2009-10, C-N turned in one of the most successful seasons in school history. The Lady Eagles opened the year winning a school-record 16 straight games and earned the highest national ranking in school history at No. 8. The Lady Eagles finished the year ranked sixth in the nation in blocked shots per game (5.6), 16th in scoring (77.5) and 23rd in steals per game (11.8).
"I've enjoyed the years I've spent at C-N as an assistant and now look forward to hopefully many more as the head women's basketball coach," Mincey said. "Our program is in good shape, and we have a solid group of returnees and incoming players, which excites me. It will now be up to me and my staff to ensure we continue the winning ways at C-N."
"As is with every year, my goals are to compete for a conference title and advance to the NCAA tournament. Two of my three years with this program we've advanced to the NCAA tournament, and I look forward to the opportunity to get back there again next year."
The Lady Eagles have had success with several east Tennessee products during Mincey's three seasons as well. Former Lady Eagle point guard Ashley Kyle, a two-time All-SAC performer, is from Jefferson City. This season, guard Mandy Mendenhall, an All-SAC selection, and forward Shannon Depew, the SAC Freshman of the Year, were from Kingston Springs and Newport, respectively.
Mincey hopes to continue the trend of signing talent from around east Tennessee.
"Living in a strong women's basketball state and region, my staff will make it a priority to heavily recruit between the Tri-Cities, Chattanooga and Nashville, but state lines will not define our recruiting," Mincey offered. "We will go wherever to find the best players who fit the Carson-Newman mold."
Prior to joining the Lady Eagle program, Mincey served successful stints as a head coach in high school and an assistant coach at the Division I level. In 1996-97 he was the head boys' basketball and baseball coach at Conway Christian School in Conway, S.C., where he was named Coach of the Year in both sports by the South Carolina Association of Christian Schools. Mincey led his baseball team to a runner-up finish in the state tournament.
From 2001-04 Mincey was an assistant coach at East Tennessee State University. He served as recruiting coordinator during his final season with the Lady Buccaneers. While at ETSU, he coached one Southern Conference Player of the Year, two players who played overseas, three All-Conference players and two All-Freshman team members. In 2004 he was part of the staff that guided ETSU to 13 Southern Conference victories, which were the most in school history.
A 1996 graduate of King College in Bristol, Tenn., Mincey had a successful playing career while at King. He currently ranks in the top five in several career, single season and single game records. He scored 1,285 points and dished out 406 assists. His assist total is good enough for third best in King history. He also made 328 free throws during his career, which ranks first all-time. For his efforts both on and off the court, he was named King College Male Athlete of the Year in 1996.
Mincey, his wife Shannon, who is the C-N head volleyball coach, and their two children, Cami (8) and Cy (6), reside in Morristown, Tenn. and attend First Baptist Church of Jefferson City.