Matt Mitchell’s Career Celebrated by Men’s Basketball Alumni at Ohana Pizzaria

Approximately 30 men’s basketball alumni attended a reception for Matt Mitchell, Associate Vice President, Athletic Director, and Head Men’s Basketball Coach, at 6 p.m. on Feb. 5, 2022, at Ohana Pizzaria in Fulton, MO. The event celebrated Mitchell’s final season as Athletic Director and Head Men’s Basketball Coach.

“I would like to express my gratitude to all of the former Westminster men’s basketball players that made their way back to campus and to Ohana for our celebration,” Mitchell said after the reception, which followed women’s and men’s Blue Jays vs. Webster Gorloks games at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., respectively.

Mitchell has served as head basketball coach since joining the Westminster staff in 1998. He also served as head golf coach until 2005, when he became Director of Athletics. Mitchell took on the additional title of Senior Director of Athletic Advancement in 2016.

Throughout his tenure at the College, Mitchell has led the Blue Jays to four NCAA Division III tournaments, 10 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, or SLIAC, tournaments, four SLIAC tournament titles, and three SLIAC regular season titles.

Mitchell celebrated his 300th career victory on Feb. 16 in the Historic Gymnasium, when the Blue Jays men’s basketball team won 71-69 over Blackburn College of Carlinville, IL.

Prior to working at Westminster, Mitchell worked as an assistant coach at Millsaps College, Western Illinois University, Rhodes College, and Belmont Abbey College.

Originally from Lexington, MO, Mitchell played collegiate basketball at Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, IN, before transferring to the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, where he played for Eddie Sutton and Nolan Richardson. He received an undergraduate degree in Education from the University of Arkansas in 1987 and then completed a graduate degree in Recreation and Park Administration in 1990 from Western Illinois University in Macomb.

Mitchell will continue working remotely for Westminster in some capacity from his new home in Danville, VA, where his wife, Venita, recently accepted a position at Averett University after decades at William Woods University in Fulton, MO.

“It has been my honor to be the basketball coach at such a fine institution and for such wonderful guys,” Mitchell said. “It has been a very humbling experience throughout this season and one that I will remember for the rest of my life.”

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Sarah Rummel Backer

Sarah Rummel Backer is the Director of Media Relations and Senior Writer at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. A proud Westminster graduate, Sarah has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and strategic communications in the areas of higher education, medicine, agriculture, and the private business sector.