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Tyler Summitt’s hiring at Louisiana Tech a year ago made a huge splash nationally. However, it was Summitt’s first move – luring the legendary DeMoss away from the WNBA and back to her alma mater – that might have been even bigger news to the folks in north Louisiana.
DeMoss is a 36-year veteran of the collegiate coaching ranks and someone that he is very familiar with from her 20 years as an assistant and associate head coach at the University of Tennessee.
"Micke DeMoss could be a head coach of any women’s program in the country,” Summitt said. “I really believe that. I’ve told her I want her to have a head coach’s mentality. I am very fortunate – Louisiana Tech is very fortunate – to have someone with Mickie’s experience on the bench. She is invaluable to this program."
DeMoss is widely known by the Louisiana Tech faithful as she was a player on the inaugural Lady Techster team in 1974 and lettered for the first three years of the program's existence. She was the very first point guard in the history of the program.
DeMoss spent the previous two years as an assistant coach with the WNBA's Indiana Fever, helping guide the franchise to the 2012 WNBA championhip. She was a part of six national championships and 12 Final Four teams at Tennessee before reviving the Kentucky Wildcats program where she was named the 2006 SEC Coach of the Year during her four years as the head coach.
Her coaching career also includes a three-year stint as an assistant coach to Gail Goestenkors at Texas.
During a span from 1985-86 to 2002-03, DeMoss helped lead the Lady Vols to six national titles and 12 trips to the Final Four. DeMoss took the coaching reins at Kentucky for the 2003-04 season and later spent time at Texas before returning to Rocky Top in 2010-11. During her first 18 seasons at UT, the Lady Vols amassed a 554-77 (.878) overall record.
DeMoss was promoted to associate head coach in 2000, but stepped aside three years later to lead her own program.
In four seasons at Kentucky, she guided the Wildcats to a 71-56 record including consecutive 20-win seasons and three postseason appearances (one NCAA and two WNIT).
The 2006 SEC Coach of the Year honor was a first for a UK coach, as she guided the 22-9 Wildcats to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in seven seasons and punctuated the trip with an NCAA win. The breakout year also included a victory over No. 1-ranked Tennessee, 66-63, in front of a school-record crowd of 13,689 at Rupp Arena. It marked the first win over a top-ranked team in UK history. In 2006-07, Kentucky was 20-14 and advanced to the WNIT. That season, DeMoss' Cats attracted a school record attendance of 5,863 fans per game.
She elected to step aside as head coach at Kentucky in April 2007, but her coaching hiatus ended when she accepted an assistant coaching position at the University of Texas in the summer of 2007. She was the Longhorns' top recruiter while also coaching the post game.
Over the past three decades, DeMoss has cemented a reputation as one of the country's most elite coaches. A survey of the nation's NCAA Division I women's head basketball coaches tabbed her as the top assistant in the country in 2000. She also garnered that distinction from a 1998 The Women's Basketball Journal poll.
While at UT, DeMoss was considered a great technical mind, floor coach and entertainer. Off the court, she was regarded as one of the best recruiters in the college game, year after year recruiting future All-SEC and All-America award-winners, while stockpiling rosters with the kind of players essential to winning national championships.
Some of DeMoss' most notable recruits at Tennessee include: Tonya Edwards, the 1987 Final Four MVP, Dena Head, the 1992 SEC Player of the Year, Chamique Holdsclaw, the 1996 and 1997 Final Four MVP, and Tamika Catchings, a four-time All-American and current star of the Fever.
Noted for her success coaching post players, DeMoss protégés have represented Team USA in every Olympic Games since 1992.
Prior to joining the Tennessee staff in 1985, DeMoss had been an assistant coach at Auburn University (1983-85), a head coach at the University of Florida (1979-83) and an assistant at Memphis State (1977-79).
DeMoss received her undergraduate degree in physical education from Louisiana Tech University in 1977, where she starred at point guard. She then received her master's degree in education at Memphis State University in 1979. She is a native of Tallulah, La.