Terrence Mitchell is ready for his first job as a varsity head coach.
Mitchell is the new leader of Cincinnati Christian School’s girls basketball program following Paul Owens’ resignation after seven seasons and an 84-78 record at the helm.
“I wanted to start at a smaller school if I ever became a head coach at a high school instead of going somewhere big-time where if I failed, it could be epic,” said Mitchell, 48. “I wanted to start somewhere that I was familiar with.”
He was a varsity assistant for David Loper at Fairfield this season and filled the same role at Colerain the year before that, also coaching at Fairfield Middle School for four seasons.
CCS athletic director Steve Gillens said he likes the fact that Mitchell has a Greater Miami Conference background.
“He knows the area and he’s well-liked in the Fairfield community, so he’ll give us some credibility that way,” Gillens said. “I got a lot of good references from parents of girls that he has coached. I also believe he’s someone who can develop our youth program, which is what I was looking for as well.
“He’s got all the aspects of a coach that’s going to be around and build the program and continue to do what Paul has done. And the most important thing is he’s a believer. That’s No. 1 on the list as far as CCS is concerned.”
“Yes, I am a believer of God,” Mitchell said. “I believe that good things do happen to people once you put your trust in Him.”
Cincinnati Christian was 7-16 this season under Owens, but made its first trip to the Division IV district finals in 2016-17.
Freshman Aaliyah Johnson was the leading scorer for the Cougars this year with a 12.5 average.
“I’ll have nine returning players next year. One will be a junior and eight will be sophomores,” Mitchell said. “I’m coming into a good situation.
“I got to watch them play a couple times this year. You could tell they were young and inexperienced, and playing against some real good talent in the (Miami Valley Conference) was a challenge for them. But having that varsity experience under their belt is going to be beneficial next season.”
Mitchell wants his team to play an up-tempo style with consistent defensive pressure. It’s the way he played during his prep days at Cincinnati Taft and the way he coached in the GMC.
“We’ve got a lot of young girls that play various sports at CCS, and a lot of them are very athletic,” Mitchell said. “I think a lot of them will fit well as far as what I’m trying to do.”
He wants to increase the number of teams in the youth program and build continuity throughout all levels so that all players are prepared for what will be expected of them on the varsity.
“I want to build a culture from the third-grade level all the way up,” Mitchell said. “I’m more of the calm, look-them-in-the-eye kind of guy. I understand there are times when you’ve got to get that voice up there, but if the players know the expectations going into games, I think the yelling that a lot of coaches do wouldn’t have to be done.”
Mitchell lives in Fairfield and has three sons. He laughed when he was asked about the irony of having all boys and coaching girls.
“That was kind of a fluke,” Mitchell said. “We were looking for a girls coach in the youth levels and couldn’t find any. Since I’ve always wanted a daughter, I thought that would be a good segue for me to get in and learn and coach girls, and maybe they’ll be the daughters I never had. So from about 2009 until now, that’s pretty much what I’ve been doing.”
• CCS selects net coach: Laura Weinberger, a Ross graduate, is Cincinnati Christian’s new head volleyball coach.
Weinberger, who played volleyball at Georgia Tech and earned 12 varsity letters in volleyball, basketball and track at Ross, coached at Reading and Ross before taking a break from the sport. She returned as the CCS junior varsity coach last year.
Terrence Mitchell file
Family: Wife Sherry, sons Brandon (21), Alex (18) and Julian (12)
Job: Senior data analyst for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Mason
High school: Cincinnati Taft, Class of 1988
College: Attended Wright State University, currently working toward a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Penn Foster College
Coaching history (all girls teams): Fairfield Middle School eighth grade, four years; Colerain High School varsity assistant, one year; Fairfield High School assistant, one year
Thank you for reading the Dayton Daily News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to exclusive deals and newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Dayton Daily News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.