New Coppin State AD Mitchell says funding his top priority

July 06, 1996|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Fang Mitchell has taken the Coppin State basketball program to a higher level during the past 10 years, and now he will try to guide the school's other nine sports to a new level of success.

Mitchell was named athletic director at Coppin State yesterday in addition to his basketball coaching duties, a move the school believes will help pump more money into the athletic program.

Mitchell said: "I hope some of my friends who have helped me identify players in the past can help me identify resources now. We definitely have to bring in more money and build our funds up. It's our No. 1 priority."

Coppin State president Calvin Burnett said: "We fully expect his exceptional intellectual qualities and rich work experience, which have brought national recognition to our men's basketball team, to now benefit our entire athletic program."

Mitchell has produced a 183-111 record, two NCAA tournament and two National Invitation Tournament appearances, and six Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference regular-season titles in the past seven years. He replaces Clayton McNeill, who had been AD for four years.

Mitchell will be paid the same $100,000 a year for doing both jobs, but his five-year "rollover" contract will be replaced by a seven-year deal.

"It's a contract that says he has to notify me and I have to notify him if we plan to change our status," Burnett said.

It appears that only a major Division I coaching position could lure Mitchell from Coppin as long as Burnett is president.

"My love for Dr. Burnett is the main reason I'm still here," said Mitchell, Coppin's associate athletics director the past two years. "I was offered at least $30,000 more a year to coach at Florida International two years ago, but when I came back here after the offer, I thought about all the advantages of working with the people here and working in the community and I decided the extra money wasn't worth it."

Associate director for financial aid Desney G. Byrd will become associate athletic director.

Pub Date: 7/06/96

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