Following one of the most successful women's basketball seasons in nearly a decade, Kansas State head coach Jeff Mittie was named the recipient of the 2017 Kansas Basketball Coaches Association (KBCA) Women's Basketball Four-Year College Coach of the Year Award.
Kansas State concluded the 2016-17 season with 23 wins, the most since the 2008-09 season. The Wildcats made the 15th NCAA Tournament appearance in program history and advanced a round in the tournament for the 11th time. Mittie was the first women's basketball coach in school history to guide the program to two NCAA Tournament appearances in their first three seasons.
This was the 15th 20-win season for Mittie in his 25 seasons as a head coach. The 23 victories were the most for a Mittie coached team since he guided TCU to 23 wins during the 2007-08 season. He has tallied 24 winning seasons in his 25 years as a head coach. The NCAA Tournament appearance for Mittie was the 18th postseason trip for one of his programs, including his fourth straight.
The Wildcats registered an 11-7 mark in the Big 12 and a fourth-place finish in the league. The 11 wins were the most since K-State won the Big 12 in 2007-08. This was the third straight season under Mittie that K-State improved its league win total from one season to the next.
During the 2016-17 season, Mittie achieved a milestone as he recorded the 500th win of his career with a 70-57 win at Omaha on December 4, 2016. Mittie owns a career mark of 515-273 (.654), including a 61-38 (.616) record in his three seasons at Kansas State. He reached the 50-win mark in his 81st career game at Kansas State with a 68-54 win over Texas Tech on January 7, 2017. He is the fifth K-State women's basketball head coach to achieve 50 or more victories.
Mittie mentored several players to postseason honors in the 2016-17 season. Heading the list were 2017 All-Big 12 First Team honorees, Breanna Lewis and Kindred Wesemann.
In addition to earning her second straight All-Big 12 First Team citation, Lewis garnered 2017 Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) All-Region 3 honors, the first for the program since the 2012-13 season. Lewis reached the 400-point, 225-rebound mark for the second straight season with 471 points (13.9 ppg) and 280 rebounds (8.2 rpg).
In addition to rebounds, she led the Wildcats in a number of statistical categories, including: field goals made and field goal percentage (205-of-367; .559), blocked shots (59, 1.7 bpg) and double-doubles (9). She ranked 12th in the Big 12 in scoring, third in field goal percentage, fourth in rebounding and sixth in blocked shots.
Lewis, who is the only player in program history to be named to the Big 12 All-Defensive Team, earned her third straight league defensive honor by anchoring one of the Big 12's top defenses in the 2016-17 season. She was responsible for 41.3 percent of K-State's blocked shots and set the school record for blocked shots in a three-year span with 238.
In mid-April, Lewis was selected with the 23rd overall pick in the 2017 WNBA Draft by the Dallas Wings. Lewis was the first WNBA selection during Mittie's tenure at Kansas State.
In the 2016-17 season, Wesemann earned All-Big 12 First Team honors for the first time in her career by averaging a career-high 13.9 points per game (474 points) and buried a career-high 90 three-pointers on 256 attempts. Her 90 connections from beyond the arc ranked 23rd in the nation and the most by any player in the Big 12 this season. Over the last two seasons, Wesemann has made 175 three-point field goals, the most of any player in the league during this time.
In late-March, Wesemann represented Kansas State at the 29th Annual State Farm College Slam Dunk and 3-point Championships in Phoenix, Arizona. Wesemann captured both the Marines Women's 3-Point Contest title and the Shoe Carnival Battle of the Champions 3-Point crown.
In addition to the strong efforts on the court, Mittie's team was also solid in the classroom. The Wildcats tied for the league lead on the 2017 Academic All-Big 12 Teams with eight honorees including seven on the first team. Shaelyn Martin garnered College Sports Information Directors Association (CoSIDA) Academic All-District VII honors, the program's first recipient since the 2010-11 season.
K-State women's basketball will celebrate its 50th season of action during the 2017-18 season.