During her first season leading the Gauchos, Carlene Mitchell led UC Santa Barbara on a thrilling run to its 14th Big West Tournament title, resulting in the program's 14th NCAA Tournament appearance.
For her standout leadership in her first year at the helm, Mitchell earned the distinction of being named one of three finalists for the Maggie Dixon Rookie Coach of the Year Award, which is presented by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association.
Mitchell led the Gauchos to a 17-16 overall record during the 2011-12 campaign and an 8-8 mark in Big West Confernece play. Under her tutelage, junior Kirsten Tilleman was named the Big West Tournament's Most Valueable Player and sophomore Melissa Zornig garnered All-Tournament Team accolades.
Mitchell was hired as UC Santa Barbara's head coach on May 19, 2011 after a very successful tenure at Rutgers.
Mitchell, the fifth head coach in program history, is in her
first head coaching job.
Prior to joining UCSB, Mitchell served 10 years as an assistant coach at Rutgers, with the final three years spent as the team's associate head coach.
Under the tutelage of Hall of Famer C .Vivian Stringer, Mitchell has helped direct the Scarlet Knights to an NCAA berth in nine straight seasons and a spot in the NCAA Regional Semifinals in five of the past seven seasons. Mitchell, who served as the program's recruiting coordinator since 2004, consistently landed the top talent in the nation, including four top-15 recruiting classes and the nation's top recruiting class in 2006-07.
Prior to Rutgers, Mitchell spent the 2000-01 season as the top assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Oklahoma State University. She was responsible for both preseason and off-season conditioning, coaching the guards during practices, developing a defensive game plan for each of Oklahoma State's opponents and working with the program's summer camps.
Prior to her stop in Stillwater, Mitchell coached for two seasons at Western Illinois University. While in Macomb, Ill., she helped the Westerwinds make a remarkable turnaround from a 7-19 record to an 18-11 mark the following season. Mitchell assisted in the signing of 14 student-athletes to national letters of intent. Three of those student-athletes were later named to the Mid-Continent Conference All-First Team during their respective careers.
Mitchell started her coaching career as a graduate assistant at the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1997. Her responsibilities with the Kangaroos included implementing strength and conditioning programs, creating opponent scouting reports and organizing all team travel.
Mitchell was the starting point guard as a senior at Kansas State University during the 1995-96 season. She received a bachelor's degree in social science from the school in 1996.
Mitchell also attended Allen County (Kan.) and Trinity Valley (Texas) Community Colleges. She helped lead Trinity to the first of their five unprecedented NJCAA National Championships in 1994. Named All-Conference and selected to the NJCAA All-Tournament Team, Mitchell still holds the single season assist record (337) and assists in a game (17) mark in the Lady Cardinals record book. She will join the school's Cardinal Hall of Fame in October, a member of the Class of 2010.
A member of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), Mitchell has been an invited guest to the Nike Villa 7 Coaches Consortium on four occasions. The consortium was developed to bring together university athletic directors and the country's elite assistant basketball coaches in an effort to prepare coaches for the next level.