Middle Tennessee Head Women’s Basketball Coach Rick Insell has been named one of 12 finalists for induction into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.
The announcement came on ESPN’s Big Monday during a nationally-televised game between Notre Dame and Tennessee.
“I am truly overwhelmed to be considered as one of the 12 nominees for this year’s Hall of Fame class,” Insell said. “I have spent all of my adult life and half of my childhood in the game of basketball so to even be considered for its national hall of fame is beyond comprehension. I am thankful to the committee members for this consideration. The game of basketball has meant so much to our family so this is something we appreciate more than I could ever express in words.”
The six-member Hall of Fame Class of 2017 will be selected from the 12 finalists when the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Board of Directors takes a final vote later this month. The final six candidates for induction will be notified during the first week of February.
“Nomination and selection into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame are the highest honors in our game,” said Patti Phillips, President of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Board of Directors. “The Board of Directors takes great care in studying each individual’s body of work and contribution to the game, as admission is only granted to those with the most outstanding qualifications.”
The Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame is all inclusive in regard to the sport and considers the achievements of all levels of basketball.
Insell has enjoyed a high level of sustained success for 40 years – 28 at the high school level and 12 at the collegiate level. Insell, who has a career record of 1,060-241 in 40 years, is Middle Tennessee’s all-time winningest coach with 285 wins against just 92 losses.
At Middle Tennessee, Insell’s teams have won 20 or more games in each of his previous 11 seasons, and the veteran coach has guided the Lady Raiders into a national postseason tournament in each season. His teams have reached nine NCAA Tournaments and two WNIT events. The Lady Raiders also have won 15 conference championships under Insell (eight regular season, seven tournament).
This comes on the heels of a remarkable career at Shelbyville Central High School, where Insell posted a 775-149 mark in 28 years while building it into a national power and state dynasty.
Insell won a Tennessee state record 10 Class AAA championships, while finishing runner-up in five others. His team’s hold the Tennessee state records for consecutive wins (110), consecutive state titles with four (1989-92) and most state championships with 10.
Insell said his nomination as one of the 12 finalists is to be shared with those who helped pave the way.
“This honor is a testament to the hard work and sacrifices of so many young ladies, assistant coaches, support staff, administrations, as well as the best basketball fans in the country in Shelbyville and Murfreesboro, and throughout the Midstate,” Insell said.