Mike Mincey begins his eighth season as the head coach of the Carson-Newman Lady Eagles in 2018-19. The Volunteer State native is the fourth head coach in the 41 years of the program.
In 2017-18, the mentor led one of the best seasons in the history of the school as he took home SAC Coach of the Year and WBCA Region 3 Coach of the Year honors. He became the third coach in the history of the school to win the conference's top coaching honor. Dean Walsh shared the accolade with Wingate's Johnny Jacumin in 2004-05 and Eddie Carter won five times (1989-90, 1991-92, 1992-93, 1994-95 and 1997-98).
The team finished the season ranked fifth in the country in the WBCA Coaches' Poll, the highest final ranking in the history of South Atlantic Conference schools. It completed a campaign in which the Lady Eagles were ranked in every single poll released by the organization starting on Nov. 21, 2017, a string of 16 straight weeks. The program reached as high as No. 3 nationally doing so for three straight weeks from Feb. 6-20, 2018. It was the best slot a SAC team had ever been during a season.
His team spent the final 14 weeks inside of the top 10 in America and nine as a top-five team in the poll. Since the SAC formed in 1989-90, no team had spent double-digit weeks in the top 10 as other schools have combined for 33 weeks in the top 10 in the history of the poll. Presbyterian in 1999-00 spent nine weeks amongst the 10 best teams in the country. Prior to 2017-18, teams from the league had spent a total of seven weeks in the coaches poll ranked in the top five as Presbyterian was in it for five weeks in 1999-00. No other school had finished a season ranked in the top five. Wingate's No. 7 ranking in 1993-94 was the prior best mark to conclude a campaign.
Carson-Newman went to the program's first Elite Eight after capturing its first SAC regular season crown in 21 years, its second SAC Tournament title and first-ever Southeast Region Championship. The Lady Eagles matched a school record with 32 wins on the year setting the SAC record in that category by four games. Other records that C-N now holds among SAC schools is most points in a year (3,180), points per game (90.9) and assists (702). Mincey's unit produced 11 games with at least 100 points after the school had registered 11 such games combined over the previous 27 seasons. Overall, the 2017-18 squad set 12 school records during the season.
Juniors Haris Price (Gatlinburg, Tenn.) and Mika Wester (Newport, Tenn.) were named WBCA All-Americans marking the first time in school's Division II era that teammates were named to the top teams in the nation. Only one player in that stretch had been one when Shari Buford was a third-team pick in 2009-10. Overall Price and Wester were the ninth and 10th players to earn the honors in the history of the program.
In 1996-97 he was the head boys’ basketball and baseball coach at Conway Christian School in Conway, S.C., where he was named Coach of the Year in both sports by the South Carolina Association of Christian Schools. Mincey led his baseball team to a runner-up finish in the state tournament.
From 2001-04 Mincey was an assistant coach at East Tennessee State University. He served as recruiting coordinator during his final season with the Lady Buccaneers. While at ETSU, he coached one Southern Conference Player of the Year, two players who played overseas, three All-Conference players and two All-Freshman team members. In 2004 he was part of the staff that guided ETSU to 13 Southern Conference victories, which were the most in school history.
A 1996 graduate of King College in Bristol, Tenn., Mincey had a successful playing career while at King. He currently ranks in the top five in several career, single season and single game records. He scored 1,285 points and dished out 406 assists. His assist total is good enough for third best in King history. He also made 328 free throws during his career, which ranks first all-time. For his efforts both on and off the court, he was named King College Male Athlete of the Year in 1996.
Mincey, his wife Shannon and their two children, Cami (15) and Cy (13), reside in Jefferson City, Tenn. and attend First Baptist of Dandridge.