Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Undefeated Coach

Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Undefeated Coach

Article excerpt

Marc Mitchell, head coach of the reigning Division III women's basketball national champions, says his vision has been to take whatever program he coaches to the next level.

When Mitchell came to Farleigh Dickin son University-Florham Campus in 2009, the Devils had only had mediocre results. Today, it is the first womens basketball program in New Jersey to win an NCAA title and is taking aim at winning a second one.

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"This program needed to show the nation how great it can be. I went out and got it done and I'm still working hard," says Mitchell, whose team also amassed a 53-game winning streak. "If you have a dream and a vision, keep working at it."

Mitchell is a prime example of not dismissing a passion and never saying it's too late to pursue something.

Raised in New Jersey, he took time off from formal education after high school. Eventually, Mitchell attended community college, earning an associate degree from Essex County College in Newark, and then pursued a bachelor's degree part time over several years until he graduated from Kean Univeristy. He also holds a master's degree in education from American Intercontinental University.

While working as a middle school special education teacher in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Mitchell had a chance to put his love of basketball to good use when he was tapped to coach a middle school girls' team. Mitchell went on to coach for three seasons at Elizabeth High School.

He had left teaching and was working in sales when a friend recommended that he revisit coaching. The suggestion spurred Mitchell into action, and he landed an assistant coaching job at New Jersey City University.

The following year, Mitchell became an assistant coach at Caldwell College, where then-head coach Linda Cimino schooled him on becoming a head coach.

"I knew basketball. I knew how to coach. She taught me how to be a professional and be a head college coach. Every good thing I have really stems from her work ethic and her professionalism," Mitchell says.

When he secured the opportunity to interview for the head coach job at FDU-Florham, before going on the interview he called the admissions office and asked for a tour of the campus.

"In the interview process, our athletic director and associate director asked several questions and I made mention that I did a campus tour," says Mitchell. …

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