NCAA Division I Sports
NCAA Division I Sports
Marquette Women's Head Coach: 1996 - present
Believe, Commit, Mature, Respect, Thankfulness - These are the five principles that serve as the foundation of the Marquette women's basketball team. And with these principles Marquette lives by each day, head coach Terri Mitchell has molded the Golden Eagles into champions.
The foundation was laid years ago during her upbringing in Harrisburg, Pa. The life lessons Mitchell learned have served as her guide in coaching the Marquette women's basketball team for the last 14 years.
The Golden Eagles have thrived under Mitchell as she has compiled a 272-162 overall record - just short of 20 wins per season - 12 trips to the postseason and eight 20-win seasons. Notably, the Golden Eagles have earned eight consecutive postseason berths, including two trips to the NCAA Tournament Second Round (2004, 2007) and winning the Women's National Invitation Tournament crown in 2008.
On the court, Mitchell's teams are known for their well-balanced offense coupled with a tenacious style of defense and off the court for their academic excellence and commitment to community service.
Since becoming the fourth women's basketball coach in Marquette University history, Mitchell has paved a path of excellence. That journey began in her very first year, as Mitchell was at the helm for the largest turnaround in school history. She guided MU to a 21-10 record in 1996-97, which was 13 wins better than the previous season's record of 8-20. It was the largest turnaround of any first-year head coach and third-best single-season turnaround among all NCAA Division I schools that year.
The drive and commitment to excellence Mitchell had her first year as a head coach continues to be instilled in her teams year after year. Her players don't question it; they know it and live it each day. One of the team's favorite Mitchell sayings is “we didn't come to just compete in the BIG EAST, we came to win it.”
Player Development Mitchell believes that her personal interaction with each player not only leads to success on the court, but off it as well. Her vision for each player in her program is that they enter as girls, but leave as well-rounded, confident young women.
Under her guidance, her student-athletes have earned numerous individual accolades, for their work on the hardwood and in the classroom. Since 1996, 22 of Mitchell's players have earned all-conference honors, while two have achieved All-America status, with Krystal Ellis becoming MU's latest All-America selection following the 2006-07 season. Ellis was also the third player in program history to earn repeat first team all-conference honors. In addition, 27 players have earned spots on the league's Academic Honor Roll and three have been awarded GTE Academic All-America honors.
Service Through her faith, compassion for others, and commitment to service, she has touched the lives of many. For example, in May of 2006 Mitchell took a mission trip to Rwanda where she spent 16 days in the impoverished African country.
In addition to her coaching duties, Mitchell is active in the community and is heavily involved with charitable events. She is an avid speaker on campus, at local schools, basketball clinics, nonprofit organizations and is actively involved in prison ministry. Through her speaking engagements, Mitchell incorporates the program's five principles and encourages her audiences to dream, believe, and live in the now. She also hosted motivational breakfasts entitled “Breakfast with Terri,” for Milwaukee area business women from 2004-09.
Mitchell believes in giving back to her profession and the community by serving on several Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) committees as well as on its Executive Board as Treasurer, the State Farm Wade Trophy Committee, the Midwest Athletes against Childhood Cancer (MACC) Fund Board of Directors, and many other service-oriented organizations.
Service is not only a significant part of Mitchell's life, but of her team's life as well. The Golden Eagles are involved in many service projects throughout the year including Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Milwaukee, Briggs & Al's Run & Walk, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund, the American Heart Association, the WBCA's Pink Zone initiative, Hunger Clean-Up, school speaking engagements and basketball clinics.
A native of Harrisburg, Pa., Mitchell was a four-year letterwinner and team co-captain at Duquesne University. After an outstanding career with the Dukes, Mitchell graduated Cum Laude with a psychology degree in 1989.
Mitchell began her coaching career serving as a graduate assistant at Arizona State during the 1989-90 season.
Prior to becoming head coach, Mitchell was an assistant for the Golden Eagles for five seasons. She was instrumental in recruiting Marquette's 1996-97 freshman class, which was ranked 12th in the nation by the Blue Star Index. Marquette posted an 87-61 record and made three postseason appearances during Mitchell's tenure as an assistant.
Mitchell was named head coach on June 6, 1996. In her first season leading the Golden Eagles, Mitchell set a few precedents. She shattered the record for most wins by a Marquette first-year head coach, 21, and holds the distinction of reaching 50 wins faster than any coach in Marquette history. In addition, she became the only coach in school history to take her team to the NCAA Tournament in her first season.
Not only did she take the 1996-97 Golden Eagles to the Big Dance, but they also recorded the first NCAA Tournament win in school history.
In 1997-98, the Golden Eagles finished 22-7 overall and had a 13-3 record in Conference USA play, capturing the American Division title en route to their second consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Mitchell also earned her first conference honor in her second year at the helm as she was named Conference USA Coach of the Year.
Mitchell led the 1998-99 squad to a 21-8 overall mark, a 12-4 record in C-USA play and a third straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. For her efforts, Mitchell was named the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Women's Basketball Coach of the Year. Marquette allowed its foes to shoot just 39.0 percent from the field and out-rebounded teams by 8.0 boards per game, a stat that topped C-USA and was sixth in the nation.
Her 1999-2000 squad finished the season in fine fashion, winning 13 of its last 15 regular season contests, claiming the regular season C-USA championship and a berth in the NCAA Mideast regional. Guiding her squad to a 14-2 conference record, Mitchell earned her second C-USA Coach of the Year honor. That season, Marquette led Conference USA and was 10th in the nation in defense allowing only a 36.4 shooting percentage.
The 2000-01 season proved to be a pivotal year in the growth of the Marquette women's basketball program. Mitchell was instrumental in carrying forward the goals of the program while providing stability, despite the graduation of three of the school's all-time leading scorers. With a young squad of five freshmen and two returning starters, the Golden Eagles picked up key victories against NCAA Tournament teams Michigan and UW - Milwaukee early on and closed out the season winning four straight before falling to C-USA Champion Tulane on a last-second shot.
Mitchell reached the 100-victory milestone the third game of the 2001-02 season as the Golden Eagles downed Alaska-Anchorage, 88-50, in the Great Alaska Shootout. On Jan. 27, she became Marquette's all-time winningest coach in a 65-44 victory over Tulane. That season, the Golden Eagles continued to be one of the best defensive squads in the nation, holding the opposition to just 59.6 points per game. That total tied for the top spot in Conference USA and tied for 10th in the NCAA.
At the end of that season, Mitchell was elected to the Board of Directors of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association, an honor in which she took great pride.
Mitchell led the 2002-03 Golden Eagles to a 16-14 mark and a spot in the Women's National Invitation Tournament, advancing to the second round. That season, the team set new school records in three-point shooting and free throw shooting percentages.
In 2003-04, the team tied a school record with 22 wins and advanced to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament. In the first round, playing as the ninth seed in the Mideast Region, MU defeated Old Dominion, 67-64, as Christina Quaye hit the go-ahead layup with 5.8 seconds left. In the next game, the Golden Eagles gave the nation's No. 1 ranked team, Duke, all it could handle and opened the eyes of many around the country.
The 2003-04 campaign was typical of the Terri Mitchell era. Offensively, the team was balanced, as eight different players led the team in scoring during a game over the course of the season. Games were won with defense and teamwork, as MU led Conference USA in scoring defense, yielding just 57.2 points per contest.
During the 2004-05 campaign, MU qualified for its third consecutive postseason appearance by earning a spot in the WNIT. Led by Second Team All-Conference USA honorees Carolyn Kieger and Christina Quaye, the Golden Eagles finished with an overall record of 18-12.
In 2005-06, Marquette made a remarkable postseason run, advancing to the championship game of the Women's National Invitation Tournament. Led by All-BIG EAST honorees Christina Quaye, Carolyn Kieger, and BIG EAST All-Rookie Team member Krystal Ellis, the Golden Eagles posted a 22-11 overall record, including a 9-7 record in BIG EAST play, before falling in the championship game at Kansas State.
The 2006-07 season was one for the history books as Mitchell guided the Golden Eagles to their best season ever, a 26-7 overall record. It was the seventh season in which her team won 20 or more games. After being picked eighth in the BIG EAST preseason poll, Marquette started the season winning 15 of its first 16 games, and jumped into the national polls on December 4 for the first time since the 1999-2000 season.
The season for the ages included a school record 14-game win streak and being ranked in the Top 25 for the majority of the season. During that streak, Mitchell won her 200th game on Dec. 9, 2006. In BIG EAST play, the Golden Eagles finished tied for second place with Rutgers, registering a 12-4 conference record. For her efforts, Mitchell received the league's highest honor and was named the BIG EAST Coach of the Year. It was Mitchell's third coach of the year honor of her career.
More honors continued to follow Mitchell at the conclusion of the 2006-07 season as she was elected to the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Executive Committee as its Treasurer and tabbed the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Division I Women's Coach of the Year. She was also named a Woman of Influence by the Milwaukee Business Journal in the category of “Inspiration.”
Marquette made a trip back to the “big dance” behind the inside-outside combination of All-BIG EAST First Team selections Krystal Ellis and Christina Quaye, and the leadership of seniors Jasmine McCullough, Danielle Kamm and Efueko Osagie-Landry. It was the first time in program history two players were first team all-conference selections in the same year.
“Champions” is a word Mitchell's team speaks daily. Mitchell is adamant that one's words lead to one's destiny. It did on April 5, 2008, when the Golden Eagles marched into the Breslin Center at Michigan State and knocked off the Spartans, 81-66, to claim the Women's National Invitation Tournament Championship. It marked the fourth national title in Marquette history and the first in women's history.
Up against a bevy of talented teams - the BIG EAST sent 12 teams to post season play - Mitchell led the youngest team in the BIG EAST Conference into battle with six freshmen and only one returning starter. The Golden Eagles fought through adversity, and won over 20 games for the third straight season. Marquette finished the season with a five-game win streak-its longest of the season-and was one of only two Division I women's college basketball teams in the nation to end the postseason with a victory. Junior Krystal Ellis was named First Team All-BIG EAST for the second consecutive season and freshman phenom Angel Robinson was an all-freshman team selection. Both continued their stellar play through the team's championship run and were honored with WNIT All-Tournament Team accolades. Ellis was named tournament MVP.
Following its championship run, Marquette was honored by the City of Milwaukee and Mayor Tom Barrett as they proclaimed April 15, 2008 Marquette Women's Basketball Day. For the second consecutive year, Mitchell earned the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Division I Women's Coach of the Year honor.
During the 2008-09 campaign, MU qualified for its seventh consecutive postseason appearance by earning a spot in the WNIT. Led by Second Team All-BIG EAST honoree Angel Robinson, All-BIG EAST Honorable Mention selection Krystal Ellis, who set the program's all-time scoring record with 1,940 points, and BIG EAST All-Freshman Team selection Jessica Pachko, the Golden Eagles finished with an overall record of 17-16.
Highlighting the season was a 75-65 win over No. 10/4 Notre Dame on Jan. 13, 2009 before a national television audience at the Al McGuire Center. The win marked Mitchell's first ever over a nationally ranked top-10 opponent.
The Golden Eagles finished the season 17-16 overall, 6-10 in BIG EAST play, and advanced to the second round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT). The WNIT berth marked the 12th since head coach Terri Mitchell began her tenure at Marquette. The Golden Eagles advanced to the second round of the tournament falling at Illinois in overtime, 74-72.
The Golden Eagles had two players earn All-BIG EAST honors with junior guard Angel Robinson collecting second team honors for the second straight season and freshman Sarina Simmons being named to the all-freshman team.
Marquette defeated two ranked opponents in 2009-10 knocking off then No. 20/18 Pittsburgh and then-No. 17/15 Georgetown.