Photo courtesy of MT Athletics
The Middle Tennessee Women’s Basketball head coach Rick Insell is going to be inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, according to the Hall of Fame Committee.
Insell was one of the six inductees in the 2017 class to be granted this achievement Sunday afternoon on ESPN2 during the Maryland-Michigan State women’s basketball game. The other members are former players Kara Wolters and Sheryl Swoopes, veteran coach Louise O’Neal, contributor Christine Grant, and official Sally Bell.
With as much as he has put into the game he loves, Coach Insell knows how big of an achievement this is and is honored to be recognized.
“I am truly humbled and overwhelmed by this tremendous news,” Insell said in a press release. “To be included in the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame is one of the highest honors one can achieve, so to be recognized for contributions to a game I love and have dedicated my life to is exceptional.”
Insell will become just the fourth coach at Middle Tennessee to be honored in such a way as Boots Donnelly, Dean Hays, and Steve Peterson each were awarded for their respective sports before him.
The Women’s Basketball Hall of fame will be the sixth such honor for Insell. He has also been inducted into the National High School Hall of Fame, TSSAA Hall of Fame, Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame, Cannon Courier Sports Hall of Fame, and Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. Hopefully, this will encourage more women to join the game. Aspiring professionals now have something to work towards, putting in extra effort and working harder to become better. It’s a great way to give recognition to those who deserve it.
Before coming to MTSU in 2005 to coach at the collegiate level, Coach Insell was a tremendous high school coach at Shelbyville Central High School. In his 28 years in the high school ranks, he posted a staggering 775-149 record. During his tenure, he also went to 15 TSSAA Class AAA State Championships, winning a state record 10 of them en route to building a high school powerhouse.
Since taking over the reins as Middle Tennessee head ball coach, he has been able to achieve just as impressive accomplishments. Insell-coached teams have won 20 or more games in his last 11 seasons. He has also been able to guide his teams to a postseason tournament in each of those seasons as well, reaching nine NCAA and two WNIT tournaments.
Insell is one of only five coaches in the country having a minimum of 10 years as a coach to average 25 wins per season. He is also ninth among active Division I coaches with a .756 winning percentage. Coach Insell has also been able to lead the Lady Raiders to 15 conference championships, winning eight in the regular season and eight in the conference tournament.
Although Insell has a long list of great accolades, he knows he wouldn’t be in this position without the help of others.
“I share this achievement with my supportive family, every single person who has ever played for me from junior pro, junior high, Shelbyville High School, AAU, and Middle Tennessee State University. I also share this with all of my assistant coaches and support staff through the years. They all have played a part in any success I have had.”
Opened in 1999, this marks the 19th anniversary of the Women’s Hall of Fame. With Insell and the five other members, this brings the total of inductees to 157.
The induction ceremony will take place at the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame during the weekend of June 9-10.