Matt Insell is in his fifth season as an assistant coach at Kentucky. Along with recruiting duties, Insell also will be responsible for the guards with Coach Danielle Santos.
In his role as an assistant coach, Insell has been a key component in recruiting and player development.
Insell has helped Kentucky ink three top-10 recruiting classes and five high school McDonald's All-Americans in Bria Goss, Jennifer O'Neill, DeNesha Stallworth, Janee Thompson and Samarie Walker. Insell has also helped lead UK to three-straight 20-win seasons and the first Southeastern Conference regular season championship in 30 years. The Wildcats, who finished in the top 25 in the final AP polls the last three seasons, also earned their third straight bid to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history.
One season ago, Insell helped lead UK Hoops to one of its best years in program history. Not only did Insell help guide the Wildcats to an Elite Eight appearance for the second time in three years, he also developed All-American guard A'dia Mathies, the SEC Player of the Year, and Bria Goss, the SEC Freshman of the Year.
In 2009-10, Insell helped guide UK to a program-best 28-8 record, including a school-record 11-5 mark in the SEC. Despite low expectations from outside observers, Kentucky went from being picked to finish 11th in the SEC to an NCAA Elite Eight team. The Cats defeated five nationally-ranked opponents, including a historic win over LSU in Baton Rouge, La., and an exciting upset over top-seeded and fourth-ranked Nebraska in the Sweet 16.
With Insell's help, Louisville native A'dia Mathies received UK's first SEC Freshman of the Year honor and was named the Cats' first freshman All-American since Valerie Still in 1980. Mathies also was named to the SEC All-Tournament team along with teammate Victoria Dunlap, marking UK's first honorees to that team since 1992. Mathies was again impressive in her sophomore season, earning All-SEC Second Team honors. Freshman guard Bernisha Pinkett also received conference honors as she was named to the SEC All-Freshman team.
Prior to Kentucky, Insell was the Director of Basketball Operations at Louisiana Tech under Coach Chris Long. Before that, he was considered one of the top AAU coaches in the country, coaching the Tennessee Flight, a Nike Elite Travel Program, for three years.
Insell made a national name for himself after coaching 41 of his former AAU players to play Division I basketball, including current Wildcats Victoria Dunlap and Crystal Riley. He also coached the Shelbyville Sports Shop 15-Under team to the AAU National Championship title in 2004.
Insell, 29, earned valuable basketball experience while attending the University of Tennessee from 2001-2005. He worked closely with both the men's and women's basketball programs, serving as a student assistant/video coordinator under former men's head coach Buzz Peterson and as an instructor at Pat Summitt's summer basketball camps. The Shelbyville, Tenn., native transferred to Middle Tennessee State during the 2005-06 season where his father, Rick Insell, is the head women's basketball coach. He went on to earn his bachelor's degree in political science from MTSU in 2007.
Personal Full Name: Matthew Ollen Insell Birthday: September 22, 1982 Hometown: Shelbyville, Tenn. High School: Shelbyville Central HS College: Middle Tennessee, '07 Degree: Bachelor's degree in Political Science
Coaching Career 2008-Current: Assistant Coach, Kentucky 2007-08: Director of Basketball Operations 2001-07: Head coach, AAU Tennessee Flight
Getting to Know Coach Insell
Played High School Basketball at Shelbyville Central
Son of Rick and Deb Insell
Father is the head women's basketball coach at Middle Tennessee State
Has two brothers, Tom (32) and Kyle (30) and one niece, Carter Cameron Insell (3 months)
Ran an AAU basketball team with brother Tom for 10 years
Hobbies: "Golf, watching TV and horse racing."
Coaching Influences: "Buzz Peterson, Rick Insell, and Pat Summitt."
Favorite professional sports teams: "Los Angeles Lakers, Tennessee Titans and Atlanta Braves."
Favorite professional athlete: "Michael Jordan."
Favorite thing about coaching: "My favorite part is helping young women grow as individuals and basketball players on and off the floor."
The coolest thing about UK is: "Everyone wears Blue and bleeds Blue!"
The most famous person you have ever met is: "Michael Jordan."
List three words to describe the 2010-11 UK Hoops: "Eager, Aggressive and Driven."
Craziest thing you did this summer: "I sang on a country music stage in Nashville."
"Matt is a very well-rounded coach and we are very fortunate to have him at Kentucky. Matt is invested in this program and you can tell that by the time and the care in which he does his job. He is a dynamic recruiter and he has done an excellent job getting us involved with some outstanding players. He has been around basketball his whole life and his insight on how to handle players and the feedback and input he gives is invaluable. He continues to get better and his future in this game is extremely bright." -- Head Coach Matthew Mitchell