DeMoss lands top job at UK

Mickie DeMoss was 23 years old when she became head coach of the Florida Lady Gators. That venture didn't work out for her but, after two decades as an assistant at Auburn and Tennessee, she's becoming a head coach again.

The University of Kentucky hired her on March 18 to replace Bernadette Mattox, who resigned after eight seasons overseeing the Lady Kats.

Asked how she's changed since her first head coaching assignment, DeMoss quipped: "I've got more wrinkles and a few gray hairs."

She also has 18 years' experience as the top aide to UT's Pat Summitt. DeMoss recruited many of the players who helped the Lady Vols win six national championships during that time.

"Obviously, we are excited for Mickie to have this opportunity," Summitt said. "She's been very comfortable here at Tennessee and she always said if the right situation came along she would look at it. I think Kentucky is a great fit and I know she is excited about working with Mitch Barnhart."

Barnhart is UK's first-year athletics director. He served as an assistant AD at Tennessee during the 1980s and '90s.

"We are very excited to hire the top assistant coach from the most outstanding program in women's basketball history," Barnhart said. "Having watched her coach for several years, I already was well aware of her coaching acumen and dynamic personality. I feel that Mickie is the best choice to lead our women's basketball program into national prominence." Van Chancellor, former Ole Miss women's coach who now coaches the Houston Comets of the WNBA, thinks DeMoss will do a great job for the Big Blue.

"In my opinion, the University of Kentucky has hit a home run, a grand slam, with the hiring of Mickie DeMoss," he said. "With her experience and ability to recruit, there is no one that is more ready to become a head coach than her.... Mickie has high standards and she will expect everyone around her to meet that high bar."

Inside Tennessee Top Stories