Skyhawk Women's Basketball | Kevin McMillan - Head Coach
The eighth head coach in UT Martin women’s basketball history, Kevin McMillan enters his sixth year at the helm of the Skyhawk program, setting an abundance of new standards for UT Martin basketball.
UT Martin will look to reload after its sixth Ohio Valley Conference championship in the past four years with a regular season and tournament championship in 2013-14. The McMillan led Skyhawks set new program records in victories with 24 while setting new a new single season scoring record with 2,681 points en route to receiving the program’s first votes in the USA TODAY Sports Top 25 Coaches’ Poll and an NCAA Tournament appearance against No. 7 North Carolina.
The Skyhawks were led by the play of two premier senior guards in Heather Butler and Jasmine Newsome. Butler finished her career as UT Martin and the Ohio Valley Conference’s all-time leading scorer with 2,865 career points after being named the league’s Player of the Year. Under the tenure of McMillan, Butler finished tied for 16th on the NCAA’s all-time scoring list while scoring in double figures every game of her career, spanning 129 games and ranking fifth all-time. She also left the Skyhawks as the best three-point shooter in NCAA history after tying the career three-pointers record with 392.
Joining Butler with postseason accolades was the highly decorated Newsome. Newsome notched her third OVC Defensive Player of the Year honor while finishing her Skyhawk career as the school and league’s second all-time leading scorer – second to Butler – with 2,566 career points. The two-time OVC Player of the Year was also named an All-Mid Major Player of the Year and Mid Major All-American by College Sports Madness.
In his fourth year, the Skyhawks notched their third consecutive Ohio Valley Conference Tournament championship in program history, downing No. 2 seed Tennessee Tech 87-80 in overtime on March 9, 2013. With the victory, UT Martin would advance to their third straight trip to the NCAA Tournament, traveling to the Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa, to take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The Skyhawks suffered a 97-64 setback in the contest despite junior guard Butler scoring a tournament high 37 points in the contest.
McMillan’s 2012-13 squad was led by the junior duo of Newsome and Butler. Along with being named All-Ohio Valley Conference first teamers, Newsome (22.6 points per game) and Butler (22.4) each ranked in the top-10 in the nation in scoring in 2012-13, ranking fifth and sixth, respectively. Newsome captured her second straight OVC Player of the Year honor along with her second OVC Defensive Player of the Year trophy en route to the program’s first All-American honorable mention accolade last season. Butler set an NCAA record by making a three-pointer in 80 consecutive games and with 34 consecutive games in a season.
In 2011-12, McMillan’s Skyhawks captured their second Ohio Valley Conference Tournament championship in program history, downing No. 3 seed Tennessee Tech 82-65 on March 5. With the victory, UT Martin advanced to make its second consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, traveling to the Horizon Center in Rosemont, Ill., to take on the Tennessee Lady Vols. The Skyhawks suffered a 72-49 setback to the hands of alumnus Pat Head Summitt.
Consisting of a roster of mostly West Tennessee players, the Skyhawks went 23-9 with a 15-1 OVC mark in 2011-12 despite having a relatively young roster with one senior. The 23-win season was the second consecutive 20-win slate for UT Martin and the second since 1998-99 and fifth 20-win campaign in program history. En route to the 23 victories, the Skyhawks scored the most points in the nation per game (80.1) and beat most opponents by at least 11 points. The Skyhawks were also the nation’s top team in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.43) and sixth in assists (17.7 apg).
The Skyhawks were led by sophomore duo Butler of Medina and Newsome of Millington. The pair was named to the OVC’s first team for the second consecutive season, as well as the All-OVC Tournament squad. Butler was named OVC Tournament Most Valuable Player.
Butler was the nation’s fourth leading scorer (23.8 points per game) while Newsome was the 18th leading scorer (19.6 ppg) in all of NCAA Division-I. Butler was second in the nation in three-point field goals made (42.3 percent) while Newsome was 13th in the nation in assists per game with 6.0.
Butler, Newsome, Jaclissa Haislip combined to win eight adidas OVC Player of the Week awards. In 2011-12, the trio of players combined to win 13 Freshmen of the Week honors, which was also an OVC record. The Skyhawks also picked up the OVC team sportsmanship award in 2010-11.
In McMillan’s second season at the helm of the Skyhawks he guided the team to a second place finish during the regular season and the OVC Tournament title. The team earned its first berth in the NCAA Tournament and played at Cameron Indoor Arena against the Duke Blue Devils. The Skyhawks played within 10 points of the ACC powerhouse at the halftime break before falling 90-45.
Consisting of a roster of mostly West Tennessee players, the Skyhawks went 21-11 with a 14-4 OVC mark in 2010-11 despite having a roster that was the youngest team in America (only two years of Division-I experience heading into the season). The 20-win season was the first since 1998-99 and fourth 20-win campaign in program history. A dozen of UT Martin’s wins were by double-figures, including six victories by 20 or more points.
McMillan’s first season at UT Martin, he took over a program that had just finished 2-27 and went winless in conference play to go 11-19 and make an OVC Tournament semifinals appearance before falling to top-seeded Eastern Illinois. For his efforts, McMillan was named OVC Coach of the Year.
Before UT Martin, McMillan spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Middle Tennessee State. He has 17 years of experience as a high school head coach, sporting an overall record of 484-135, including leading Gibson County High School to an undefeated 35-0 season and a Tennessee state championship.
In the high school ranks, McMillan has proven himself as one of the most successful women’s head coaches in Tennessee. His teams captured 17 district, regional and sub-state championships and made six trips to the state tournament. He has had coaching stints at Gibson County High School in Dyer (2007-09), Westview High School in Martin (1997-2005) and Millington High School in Millington (1990-97).
McMillan played basketball at Wake Forest for one season (1985) before transferring to Rhodes College to finish out his career from 1986-89. At Rhodes, he was a three-time all-conference selection and in 1988 was named the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year. In only three seasons, he scored 1,372 career points and still ranks ninth all-time at Rhodes for career points scored.
McMillan received his bachelor’s degree in math and business in 1989 from Rhodes, then completed his master’s in health and human performance at Middle Tennessee in 2007. He and his wife Paige have two sons, Matt and Ben, along with one daughter, Alli.