LEXINGTON, Ky. - University of Kentucky women's basketball fans are invited to the second annual “Day in the Park with Matthew Mitchell” presented by the Victory Club on Sunday, Sept. 14 at Veteran’s Park in Lexington. The event is free of charge and will feature food, inflatable games and a meet and greet with the Wildcat coaches and players. It will take place at Shelter No. 1 from 4-6 p.m. ET.
Mitchell is set to begin his second season as the women’s basketball head coach at UK. Despite injuries to several key players and a tough conference slate that saw the Cats play 10 nationally-ranked opponents, including Final Four participants LSU and Tennessee twice, Mitchell did a remarkable job in his debut season. He led the Wildcats to a school-record fourth consecutive postseason with a 17-16 overall record and a fourth-place finish in the Southeastern Conference. UK’s 8-6 league mark was just one win shy of the school record. The eight league wins also were the most conference wins by a first-year head coach in UK Hoops history.
Mitchell became the first, first-year head coach in UK Hoops history to lead a team to the semifinals of the SEC Tournament as the Wildcats earned a first-round bye and upset No. 23/21 Georgia in the quarterfinals, 57-50. UK then defeated Middle Tennessee and James Madison in the postseason WNIT before narrowly falling to eventual champion Marquette in the quarterfinals.
“I’m so excited about the team we have returning this year,” Mitchell said. “They have really been working hard in the offseason and we look forward to the beginning of the 2008-09 season. We also look forward to another fun day in the park because we had such a great time last year. We want to invite everyone to come out and get to know our team better.”
Mitchell welcomes back 10 letterwinners from last year, including All-SEC performers Victoria Dunlap (Nashville, Tenn.), Carly Ormerod (Louisville, Ky.), and Amber Smith (Winter Haven, Fla.). Four new faces were added to the roster in Rebecca Gray (Georgetown, Ky.), Sarah Rowe (Mt. Vernon, Ky.), Jackie Sanders (Birmingham, Ala.), and Keyla Snowden (Lexington, Ky.). Mitchell also welcomes two new assistant coaches in Kyra Elzy and Matt Insell. Elzy, a native of LaGrange, Ky., serves as the top assistant and recruiting coordinator while Insell, of Shelbyville, Tenn., comes to the Bluegrass as a recruiter and guards coach.
Directions to the park from campus: take Tates Creek Road South past Man-O-War. Turn right on Clearwater Way. Follow Clearwater past Veterans Park Elementary and make a left at Southpoint Drive. Take first left into Veterans Park before the baseball fields. Shelter No. 1 will be on the left-hand side of the parking lot.