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Ole Miss/Insell mutually agree to part ways

Matt Insell went 70-87 in five seasons with the Rebels.

Posted: Mar. 2, 2018 10:12 PM

OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA/Ole Miss Athletics) - Ole Miss and head women’s basketball coach Matt Insell have mutually agreed to part ways, it was announced Friday by Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics Ross Bjork.

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“Coach Insell inherited a very difficult situation in 2013, and we appreciate his focus and hard work over the last five years,” Bjork said. “In our final analysis, Coach Insell and I agreed that the program needs new leadership. Coach Insell will be a coach for a long time in the future, and we wish him the best as he moves forward.”

A nationwide search will now begin for a new head coach for the Rebel program, which boasts 17 NCAA Tournament appearances, 10 Sweet Sixteens and five Elite Eights in its storied past.

“Ole Miss Women’s Basketball has a deep history of success, and we will search the nation for the best coach,” Bjork said. “We have a great foundation in place, and I know we can compete at the highest level.”

Insell finished his Ole Miss tenure with a 70-87 overall record, including an 18-62 mark in SEC play and a 2-5 record in the conference tournament. In his five seasons, he took the Rebels to the WNIT twice in 2015 and 2017, his two seasons above the .500 mark as head coach (19-14 in 2015, 17-14 in 2017). The 2015 team advanced to the third round of the WNIT, the furthest in school history, and finished with 19 total wins – the most since 2009-10.

Among the highlights under Insell, Ole Miss defeated four nationally-ranked teams – No. 25 Oregon (Dec. 14, 2016; 83-67), No. 9 Kentucky (Jan. 21, 2016; 73-65), No. 13 Kentucky (Feb. 23, 2015; 67-59) and No. 18 Georgia (Jan. 15, 2015; 55-52) – and was able to end several lengthy SEC losing streaks, including a 21-year drought to national powerhouse, Tennessee, in 2017.

Insell mentored four 1,000-point scorers (Tia Faleru, Erika Sisk, Shandricka Sessom, Madinah Muhammad), four All-SEC members (two first-teamers and two second-teamers) and a pair of SEC All-Freshman Team selections. He also signed three straight recruiting classes that were ranked in the top 25 nationally.

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