By Mike Pilosof
Garden City, KS-After a two-month long search, Garden City found their new women's basketball coach, hiring former Cisco College leader Charinee Mitchell. She replaces Nick Salazar, who resigned back in March after four seasons.
"After a very extensive process, Coach Mitchell exemplified exactly what we were looking for in a coach," Athletic Director John Green Said. "She brings a ton of experience, coaching in a very good conference."
Mitchell spent the past four seasons as Head Coach at Cisco College in Texas where she turned around a program that won just six games in 2012-2013. She guided the Wranglers to four straight double-digit win seasons including a 15-victory campaign her second year on the job.
"I learned a lot from Cisco," Mitchell said. "It was my first head job, and they were awesome. We had our bumps and bruises, but it was a tremendous opportunity for me personally."
Last year, Mitchell doubled up, serving as both coach and assistant athletic director.
"I'm a leader; I'm a point guard," Mitchell said. "Point guards direct, so it was a pretty easy transition for me. It really fit, and it didn't become a harder task for me."
Before she arrived in Cisco, Mitchell spent one season as an assistant coach at Southwest Mississippi Community College. There, she helped Brent Harris, who coached her at Southeastern Louisiana, to a third-place finish in conference and a state tournament berth.
"Every place that I've been, I've learned something different," Mitchell admitted. "Those teachings are invaluable."
Mitchell's most successful tenure came as an assistant at Odessa College, where the team finished the 2011-2012 season with a 22-9 record and took second in the Western Junior College Athletic Conference. She coached four all-conference players while the team made an appearance in the Region 5 championship game.
"Being in Odessa is so much different than a lot of places," Mitchell said. "They have money, so they had a lot more resources."
The new Broncbuster coach is very familiar with the Junior-College ranks as a player. She was a star point guard for Paris College in 2007, being named to the All-Region XIV team. The following season, Mitchell transferred to Southeastern Louisiana University where she started 29 games as a senior, averaging 8.2 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. She hit a team-high 54 3-pointers as the Lady Lions set a Southland Conference, single-season record with 220 triples.
"You see things a lot differently as a point guard," Mitchell said. "It's a director position, so I've applied that in my coaching and as the assistant athletic director."
After her playing career, Mitchell spent two seasons as a graduate assistant and director of basketball operations at Southeastern Louisiana. She received her Master's in Kinesiology and Health Studies with a concentration in sports management.
"I want everyone to know that this was a unanimous decision," Green said. "Everyone was very impressed with Charinee."
Mitchell is a native of Tyler, TX where she was a two-time All-District 12-5A player and three-time Academic All-District selection at Robert E. Lee High School.