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K-State’s Mittie Named KBCA Women’s Coach of the Year


MANHATTAN, Kansas ( – Following its stellar 2023-24 season, Kansas State women’s basketball head coach Jeff Mittie has been named the recipient of the 2024 Kansas Basketball Coaches Association (KBCA) Women’s Basketball Four-Year College Coach of the Year Award. This is the second time Mittie has earned the honor, collecting the distinction in 2017.

Kansas State concluded the 2023-24 season with 26 wins, the most since the 2002-03 season. The Wildcats made the 18th NCAA Tournament appearance in program history and advanced a round in the tournament for the 13th time. The NCAA Tournament appearance for Mittie was the 23rd postseason trip for one of his programs, including his eighth in 10 seasons at K-State.

The Wildcats were ranked among the Associated Press (AP) top-25 for 19 consecutive weeks, including a high of number two in the nation on January 29. According to StatsPerform, K-State was the first NCAA Division I women’s basketball program to go from unranked in the preseason poll to ranked either 1st or 2nd in the same season. K-State ended the season ranked 19th in the AP poll and 18th in the WBCA/USA Today Coaches poll.

The Wildcats registered a 5-4 record against AP top-25 opponents, the eighth season in program history with a .500 or better record against AP foes and the first since 2007-08. The five wins were tied for the second-most in a season in program history and the most since 2003-04.

Two of K-State’s ranked wins came against AP top-10 opponents: at second-ranked Iowa and home against 10th-ranked Texas, the first time since 2011-12 in which the Wildcats picked up at least two wins against AP top-10 teams. As part of its 65-58 win at then second-ranked Iowa, K-State was the only team to defeat the Hawkeyes in Carver-Hawkeye Arena this season and held Iowa to its lowest point total in the Caitlin Clark era.

According to ESPN Stats & Info, K-State became the first NCAA Division I women’s basketball program in the last 25 years to be unranked and defeat the same AP top-5 team in consecutive seasons. K-State and Indiana were the only teams to defeat Iowa twice in the last two seasons.

This was the 18th 20-win season for Mittie in his 32 seasons as a head coach. The 26 victories by the 2024 Werner Ladder Naismith Women’s Coach of the Year Late Season Watch List member were the most by a Mittie coached team at K-State. He has tallied 30 winning seasons in his 32 years as a head coach, including nine in his 10 seasons in Manhattan.

The Wildcats registered a 13-5 mark in the Big 12 and a third-place finish in the league. The 13 wins were the most for the program since the Big 12 switched to an 18-game in 2011-12 and the most since K-State won the Big 12 in 2007-08 with a 13-3 mark.

Among its statistical achievements in the 2023-24 season, Mittie’s squad set the school records for assists (631) and blocked shots (178). The Wildcats led the Big 12 in field goal percentage defense (.362), which was the fifth-lowest allowed in program history and the third-lowest since the 1981-82 season.

Mittie mentored several players to postseason honors in the 2023-24 season. Heading the list were 2024 All-Big 12 First Team honorees, Ayoka Lee and Serena Sundell, and honorable mention All-Big 12 selection, Gabby Gregory.

In addition to her All-Big 12 First Team honor, Lee was a Second Team All-America selection by The Athletic, a Third Team All-America honoree by The Sporting News, an AP and WBCA All-America Honorable Mention recipient, a 2024 John R. Wooden Award National Ballot top-15 candidate, a Big 12 All-Defensive Team member and Big 12 All-Tournament Team.

In the 2023-24 season, Lee averaged 19.7 points on a .619 field goal percentage, 8.6 rebounds and 2.78 blocked shots. She is the first player in program history with two or more seasons of 500 or more points, 200 or more rebounds and 75 or more blocks. Her 75 blocks were the sixth-most in program history and was her third career season with 75 or more blocked shots.

She ranked sixth in the nation and leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage. Lee is third in the Big 12 in scoring average, second in the league and ninth in the nation for blocks per game and third in the Big 12 for rebounding average.

In her seven games this season against Associated Press top-25 opponents, Lee averaged 20.6 points on a .637 field goal percentage, 10.6 rebounds and 2.3 blocks.

Lee has recorded 14 games this season with 20 or more points including her second career 20-20 double-double with 24 points, 21 rebounds and five blocked shots against Oral Roberts.

This season, Lee led the Big 12’s top defense with 21 games of two or more blocked shots including a season-high seven at UCF on Jan. 6 and at Iowa State on Feb. 14.

Sundell was second on the team in scoring with 12.1 points per game on a career-best .536 field goal percentage. She led the Big 12 for total assists (189) and assists per game (5.6 apg). The product of Maryville, Missouri, was second for Big 12-only games with 5.7 assists per game, she ranks fourth in league-only games for field goal percentage (.539) and is 12th in conference play for scoring (13.82 ppg).

With her points (411) and assists (189) totals this season, Sundell was the first player in program history and the third Big 12 player since at least 2009-10 to record three seasons with 350 or more points and 150 or more assists. She is also the first player in program history to average 10 or more points and five or more assists in three or more seasons. She was the second player in program history to shoot 50.0 percent or better from the field and hand out five or more assists per game.

In her career, Sundell is fourth in school history for career assists with 549 and is second in program history for career assists per game (5.33 apg). She ranks 22nd on the K-State career scoring list with 1,263 points. She is the only player in school history with 1,000 or more career points, 500 or more career assists and 50 or more career blocked shots.

Gregory completed her two seasons with the Wildcats as the first player to transfer to K-State and then reach the 1,000- and 1,500-point marks in her collegiate career as she finished with 1,753 (12.4 ppg). Gregory scored in double figures in 44 games at K-State and 85 games in her career. She ranks fifth in program history for career free throw percentage (.803).

The product of Tulsa, Oklahoma, was named a 2024 All-Big 12 honorable mention recipient as she averaged just under 10 points per game this season (9.4) and established a career-high for assists with 114 (3.4 apg). When combined with Serena Sundell’s 189 assists, the tandem ranked second in school history for combined assists in a season (303). Gregory ranked 12th in the Big 12 in assists per game and was sixth in the league in assist-turnover ratio (1.78).

Gregory led the Wildcats in their two NCAA Tournament games with 17.0 points on a .458 field goal percentage. She tallied a season-high 22 points against Portland in K-State’s first round win.

In early April, Gregory represented Kansas State at the Women’s College All-Star Game in Cleveland, Ohio.