K-State hires Blue Springs’ Jeff Mittie as new women’s basketball coach

03/18/2014 5:20 PM

03/19/2014 12:00 AM

Kansas State has selected Blue Springs’ Jeff Mittie to take over as the Wildcats’ women’s basketball coach.

K-State announced the hire Tuesday, luring Mittie from TCU with a five-year contract that will pay $375,000 in his first season and increase $25,000 annually. He will also receive a signing bonus of $140,000.

In addition to Mittie’s Kansas City-area ties, his wife is from Junction City, Kan., 20 miles from Manhattan.

“We love Fort Worth,” Mittie told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “We love TCU. This was just about a total situation that was too good to turn down.

“This was a situation that was intriguing to my family. It’s a unique opportunity in the coaching world to go back where your wife is from and to go back where my brother and sister and their families and my parents are at and also have an entire athletic program that you’ve watched and you feel can go on to great things.”

Mittie replaces Deb Patterson, who was fired March 7 after an 11-19 season. She has the most coaching victories in program history and was making $600,000 a year.

Mittie, 47, has 454 career victories, a .660 winning percentage and 15 postseason appearances in 22 years as a head coach. Before arriving at TCU in 1999, he coached at Missouri Western and Arkansas State. He has won nine conference titles and five conference coach-of-the-year awards.

TCU was 18-14 this season, after going 9-21 a year ago.

“It is a tremendous opportunity at a terrific institution that, I believe, in women’s basketball has proven that the fan base can get excited about,” Mittie said in a news release. “This was the youngest team in the Big 12 this year, so I am excited to work with the players. I am always excited about developing a team and that challenge.

“I think Kansas State and my family will be a really great fit. I am looking forward to getting recruiting started across the state of Kansas and developing those very important relationships.”

Mittie will be expected to guide K-State back to the NCAA Tournament. He took TCU there nine times, going 303-175 in 13 seasons. He recorded his milestone 300th victory at TCU on Feb. 19 by beating K-State.

“Coach Mittie’s success as a head coach at three different institutions, Midwest background as well as his reputation as a top-notch recruiter make him the ideal fit to lead our women’s basketball program,” athletic director John Currie said in a news release. “We set out to find the very best basketball coach for K-State, whose personal values and integrity reflects those of our university and one that appreciates the unique opportunity of being part of our strong basketball tradition and commitment to championship performances, and we are confident that Jeff Mittie is that person.”

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