KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Jeff Mittie won his milestone 300th game at TCU this season by beating Kansas State. Now, he’ll try to help the Wildcats beat the Horned Frogs.
Kansas State made the rare move of luring a head coach away from a conference rival on Tuesday, hiring Mittie to become its new women’s basketball coach. He replaces Deb Patterson, who was fired after 18 seasons that included nine NCAA tournament appearances.
Mittie resigned from the Horned Frogs, where he had spent the past 15 seasons, and agreed to a five-year contract with Kansas State that will pay $375,000 the first year with $25,000 increases each remaining year. He will also receive a $140,000 signing bonus.
“This was the youngest team in the Big 12 this year, so I’m excited to work with the players,” Mittie said. “I’m always excited about developing a team and that challenge. I think Kansas State and my family will be a really great fit.”
The parting of ways with the TCU appears to have been amicable, and it was about more than just the job. Mittie was raised in the Kansas City area, and his wife, Shanna, was born in Junction City, which is just a short drive from the Kansas State campus in Manhattan.
In essence, Mittie was making the decision to come home, even if it means he’ll be coaching against many of the players he recruited to TCU when the teams face each other next season.
“We can’t thank Jeff enough for the contributions he’s made to TCU and our women’s basketball program over the last 15 years,” athletic director Chris Del Conte said. “This was not a decision about TCU. This was a decision for Jeff on being able to go home and be closer to family.”