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Massaro names Insell as new women's basketball coach

May 18, 2005 · MT Media Relations
  • Video Archive: WBB Press Conference
  • MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee Director of Athletics Chris Massaro announced today the hiring of Rick Insell as the Blue Raiders' new women's basketball coach. Insell, a four-time National High School Coach of the Year honoree, becomes the seventh coach in Blue Raider history.

    The legendary Insell, a 1977 graduate of Middle Tennessee, built a dynasty at nearby Shelbyville High School, where he guided the Golden Eaglettes to a record 10 TSSAA Class AAA state championships and two USA Today National Championships (1989, 1991) as he compiled a sparkling 775-148 worksheet during his 28-year tenure. Insell was named USA Today National High School Coach of the Year in 1989 and 1991 and he also has been named Converse National High School Coach of the Year on two occasions (1990, 1992).

    Massaro said there was a tremendous amount of interest regarding the Middle Tennessee vacancy and he admitted he was apprehensive about hiring a coach from the high school ranks at the outset. However, upon meeting Insell, Massaro's hesitance was erased.

    "Coach Insell had to come from behind in this process and he was able to do so by demonstrating unbelievable passion for the position, as well as relaying his ability to continue building on the success our women's basketball program has realized," Massaro said. "Coach Insell has a remarkable winning record and is a champion of developing talent for many, many years and I have faith he will be able to continue doing those things at Middle Tennessee.

    "With Coach Insell's local ties and being a Middle Tennessee graduate I believe he will strengthen us regionally with our fan base. He did a great job in the interview process and we are excited to have coach Insell aboard at Middle Tennessee."

    Insell called the women's basketball position at Middle Tennessee his "dream job".

    "Dreams do come true," Insell said. "It's something you think about. I'm a coach and it's all I've ever done, from elementary to junior high to junior pro, AAU and high school. To be able to come on board at Middle Tennessee, a Division I school, that's a dream come true, not only for me, but for all of the high school coaches and junior high coaches across the country and it says if you stay in there long enough and dream big enough, one day it will eventually happen."

    Insell said Middle Tennessee will be a pressing basketball team on defense and force the issue, and he added that the Blue Raiders would back down from no one on the recruiting trail.

    "We are going after the best players in the state of Tennessee every year," Insell said. "If Tennessee or Vanderbilt is after them then Middle Tennessee is going to be after them, too. We will recruit alongside of them. We are not going to be intimidated, nor will we back down because they are in the Southeastern Conference. We are Division I and they are Division I. We are going to use all of our contacts."

    A name synonymous with high school girl's basketball in Tennessee, Insell's teams holds the Tennessee state records for consecutive wins with 110, consecutive state titles with four (1989-1992), most state championships for a coach with 10 (1986, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1995, 2000, 2001, 2003, and 2004), and his 1990 Golden Eaglette squad was named the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame Team of the Year, the first high school team so honored.

    Under Insell's guidance, Shelbyville High School has won 23 district championships, 16 regional championships and has appeared in the Class AAA state championship game a remarkable 15 times, winning 10. Insell has developed six Tennessee Class AAA Miss Basketball Award recipients, 15 high school All-Americans and 57 of his players have received either athletic or academic scholarships to continue their careers at the collegiate level.

    While Insell has built a basketball dynasty at Shelbyville during his time there, he also has made sure his players get the job done in the classroom as evidenced by his teams receiving the TSSAA Distinguished Award for Academic Success from 1989-2000, an award based on team GPA. The lowest cumulative GPA at Shelbyville during this stretch is 3.4 and the highest is 3.98.

    Additionally, Insell's Shelbyville team received a special invitation to the Oval Office by President George Bush for academic and athletic achievement and his teams also have been honored in the United States Senate and House of Representatives, the Tennessee State House and Senate and by two Tennessee Governors.

    WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT RICK INSELL

    University of Tennessee Head Coach Pat Summitt on Rick Insell:
    "The natural progression for Rick was to make the move from a successful high school program to a position as a Division I college coach. Obviously, he has been a longtime successful coach at Shelbyville where he has won numerous championships and I expect he will carry it over to Middle Tennessee. When you think of girls high school basketball in the state of Tennessee, Shelbyville has always been one of the programs you always think about. Rick knows this state through and through and he will be a great recruiter of the talent base in Tennessee."

    University of Florida Head Coach Carolyn Peck on Rick Insell:
    "I've known Coach Insell since I was in high school. He was a winner back then and is still a winner. Coach Insell will continue to evolve Middle Tennessee where Stephany Smith left off and I believe take it to even greater heights. He only knows one thing and that is how to win."

    Western Carolina Head Coach Kellie Jolly-Harper on Rick Insell:
    "Coach Insell has proved that he is a good coach. He knows the game and is a great motivator. I think he will be very successful at MTSU."

    Middle Tennessee Men's Basketball Coach Kermit Davis on Rick Insell:
    "I look forward to a great working relationship with Rick and his staff in the future. I've had the opportunity to get to know Rick over the last three years and I've watched his teams play. He is an excellent coach and a very good disciplinarian, and I think his adjustment period from high school to the Division I level will be very quick and very successful."

    Executive Director of the TSSAA Ronnie Carter on Rick Insell:
    "We are happy for Rick, because it's what he wants. He has done an outstanding job as an educator at the secondary school level first, and as a girls' basketball coach second. He has served in many other capacities, as most of our coaches do at the high school level. I think all of this will help him with his new challenges. Rick will do well, because he's done well at everything he does. His records in girls' basketball speak for themselves. You always hate to lose good people, but you also feel good for Rick, and obviously MTSU. I don't think he'll have any trouble adjusting in the transition. He's had to make many adjustments in the past, and I'm sure there will be some more he has to make. He's a solid, intelligent person who will make the adjustments and he will do well."

    Bedford County Superintendent Mike Bone on Rick Insell:
    "I have had the privilege of working with Coach Rick Insell for 28 years. In my opinion, Middle Tennessee will be getting a very knowledgeable, committed, dedicated, and extremely loyal person with the addition of Rick as their women's basketball coach. Coach Insell has always been a student of the game of basketball. Along with his family and his players, basketball has been his life. In addition to getting a good coach I believe that MTSU will be getting a good ambassador for the University. While he is a very focused coach with high expectations and standards for his players, I think that they will find him to also be one of their best friends and supporters in their personal endeavors as well as encouraging them to be their best on the basketball court. I look for Mr. Insell to also be a strong supporter of the schools and coaches throughout Middle Tennessee, the State of Tennessee, and the nation. I wish Coach Insell and Middle Tennessee the best of luck."

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