Ohio State head coach Kevin McGuff filled out his basketball staff Friday with the hiring of Mark Mitchell as an assistant coach.
Mitchell brings a wealth of experience from a long and successful career as a high school in Cincinnati. He has been the head coach of the boys’ basketball team at Taft High School for the past 11 seasons, a run that included eight conference championships, four district titles and the 2011 state championship for the Senators.
In a statement released by the university, he called the chance to become a college assistant at Ohio State a dream come true.
"Coach McGuff and Ohio State have afforded me with an opportunity to continue my growth and development as a coach while molding our student-athletes into successful, productive people,” Mitchell said. “I am looking forward to the opportunity to help Coach McGuff bring the women's basketball program back to national prominence.”
Prior to taking over the Senators’ program for the 2003 season, Mitchell was an assistant at Cincinnati Winton Woods and Western Hills. He also has experience on the AAU coaching circuit.
“I’m very excited to add Mark to our coaching staff," said McGuff, who was hired in April after two years as head coach at Washington and nine at Xavier. “He brings tremendous experience as a basketball coach and will play a large part in player development and helping craft an exciting style of play. Mark is a proven winner and has had great success as a head coach and helping young people develop on and off the court.”
Mitchell’s hiring is also noteworthy because his daughter, Kelsey, is one of the nation’s top recruits for 2014. A standout point guard for Cincinnati Princeton, Kelsey Mitchell averaged 23.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 3.0 steals for the Vikings last season despite battling a foot injury that kept her out of 15 games.
Her twin sister, Chelsea, averaged 9.8 points per game last season and is also regarded as a Division I prospect.
Sources say the twins are expected to play for the same college program, and they could be part of a fantastic first recruiting haul for McGuff.
No one has verbally committed, but the Buckeyes are in the running for a group of five in-state recruits all rated in the top 31 in the nation by ESPN/Hoopgurlz.
Kelsey Mitchell is the No. 4 overall prospect followed by Reynoldsburg center/forward Alyssa Rice (11), Columbus Africentric forward Alexa Hart (16) and Kettering Fairmont forwards Makayla Waterman (30) and Kathryn Westbeld (31).
Hart, Waterman and Westbeld have joined forces with the Mitchell twins this summer to play for the All-Ohio Black AAU team based in Columbus.
Mark Mitchell joins Joy Cheek and Patrick Klein to fill out McGuff’s staff. The hiring of Cheek and Klein was announced earlier in May.
“His skill set will be a great complement to what Joy and Patrick already bring to the table and really helps round out this staff in a terrific manner,” McGuff said.
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