Kentucky women's basketball coach Matthew Mitchell, who led the Wildcats to a top-10 finish nationally and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight last season, has been rewarded a new five-year contract worth $600,000 annually, plus the opportunity for performance-based incentives, UK Director of Athletics Mitch Barnhart announced Thursday.
On April 22 of each year, the term of the contract will be extended one additional year so that the term is a constant five-year term.
“We are excited to ensure that Matthew and Jenna will be a part of the Wildcat family for many years to come,” UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said. “He has done a remarkable job in creating a culture of passion and competitiveness with a type of class that makes us proud to have him at the University of Kentucky.”
In three seasons, Mitchell has led the Wildcats to a 63-40 (.611) overall mark, including a school-record 28-8 mark last season. During 2009-10 Mitchell led UK to incredible new heights, piloting a team that was picked 11th in the preseason Southeastern Conference polls to a record-breaking regular season that included the most wins (28) in program history, a school-record 11 league wins, the highest conference finish (second) in 28 years, and an appearance in the NCAA Elite Eight for the first time since the NCAA expanded to 64 teams for women’s basketball in 1994. Mitchell did not go unrecognized for his success as he was named SEC Coach of the Year by the SEC coaches and The Associated Press. In his three seasons as head coach, all nine players who completed their eligibility also left with a degree.
“Jenna and I are very grateful to Dr. Todd and Mr. Barnhart for giving me an opportunity to coach at the University of Kentucky,” Mitchell said. “I can’t think of a better place in the country to coach women’s basketball. I feel this is a sign that they are confident in the direction of this program. We are working diligently every single day to instill honesty, hard work and discipline in our players and that will remain our No. 1 priority.
“Kentucky is our home and we are excited for the future and are looking forward to many more years in Lexington.”