‘Coach Yo’ earns contract extension at Ole Miss


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 Bahamian Yolett ‘Coach Yo’ McPhee-McCuin.

Bahamian Yolett ‘Coach Yo’ McPhee-McCuin has turned heads in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I women’s basketball after helping the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) Rebels turn its program around. They had a historic performance last season, and McPhee-McCuin just completed her fourth year at the helm of the program.

Just last week, McPhee-McCuin inked a contract extension, for four years, which has her locked in until 2026. That cancels speculation that she was on the move after the season ended. The announcement came from Ole Miss Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics Keith Carter.

“We have continued to state emphatically that Ole Miss is going to compete for championships, and under Coach Yo’s leadership, our women’s basketball team has risen to that level of competitiveness,” Carter said. “She has been relentless in elevating our program on the court, in the classroom, in the community, and in every element of our student-athletes’ experience. We are excited to make this commitment to Coach Yo and look forward to standing by her side as we raise banners at the SJB Pavilion soon.”

McPhee-McCuin, who coached the Rebels to a 23-9 win/loss record and a 10-6 Southeastern Conference (SEC) record, said she is elated to be at the helm for the Rebels for another four years.

“I am humbled and grateful for the support from Chancellor Boyce, Athletics Director Keith Carter, Senior Women’s Administrator Jennifer Saxon and the rest of our administration,” McPhee-McCuin said. “Their commitment recognizes the accomplishments that our program has achieved, reflects their belief in the long-term vision that has been put into place and demonstrates their unwavering trust of the success of our program in the future.

“In addition, I’m thankful for the loyal support of our faculty and staff, boosters and our fans. I am looking forward to building on the foundation of our success and continuing to lead a program that represents our fans, the university and the state of Mississippi.”

The Rebels had one of their best seasons in 2021-2022, securing an at-large bid for the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament. It was their first appearance at the tournament since 2007 and their 18th overall. Two things that McPhee-McCuin has preached to her players since taking over the program in Oxford, Mississippi, are toughness and defense. They came away with 142 blocked shots a season ago, which was a single-season record. They also kept 10 opponents under 50 points, which was also a school record.

McPhee-McCuin’s program groomed post player Shakira Austin into a lottery selection in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) Draft as she was drafted third overall. Austin was a three-time All-America Honorable Mention, earned First-Team All-SEC recognition for the second year in a row this year and was awarded the Gillom Trophy – an award given annually to the best women’s college basketball player in the state of Mississippi by the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame – for the second time in her career.

In the SEC Tournament, the Rebels finished with a semifinal appearance, which was their first since 1994. Also, they touched the Associated Press’ (AP) Poll at number 24 during the year – their first time in the poll since 2007.

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