Video by Talbert Toole
By Adam Brown
The Ole Miss women’s basketball team has a new face at the helm this season.
Yolett McPhee-McCuin’s coaching career began in 2005 at Frank Phillips College in Texas as an assistant coach with stops at Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Portland, Pittsburgh, and Clemson before landing the head coaching job at Ole Miss.
“I started at the bottom, worked my way up the whole time and just continued the grind,” McPhee-McCuin said.
Before arriving in Oxford on April 4, McPhee-McCuin spent the previous five seasons transforming Jacksonville University into a perennial power in the Atlantic Sun Conference. During her tenure as head coach, McPhee-McCuin led the Dolphins to a 94-63 record (50-24 in ASUN play).
She was the first Bahamian woman to sign a Division I letter of intent to play basketball, becoming a trailblazer in the process for other aspiring athletes from her home country. She is the first Bahamian woman to coach at a Division I program and was the first black female head coach at Jacksonville before becoming the first black female head coach in Ole Miss women’s basketball history.
She is also part of two Halls of Fame from both her playing and coaching careers. In 2016, McPhee-McCuin was inducted into the Bahamian Athletic Hall of Fame alongside Buddy Hield (of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings) and Jonquel Jones (of the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun). In 2013, she was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame and was one of 10 recipients of the Pathfinder Award for their distinguished achievement outside of New England.
This offseason, McPhee-McCuin, and her staff have been hot on the recruiting trail to replace eight spots from last year’s squad. They have brought in some new faces to play for the Rebels this season.
“We will have a full roster of players,” McPhee-McCuin said. “We have been going at it pretty hard for the past two months to be able to put a team together.”
Away from the court, the Oxford community has made McPhee-McCuin and her staff feel right at home, she said.
She said she intends to bring a competitive product to the court this season with a lot of excitement and hope.