Nov. 2, 2013
CINCINNATI - Xavier women's basketball interim head coach Brian Neal recently added a ton of coaching experience to his coaching staff, announcing the hiring of former Xavier head coach Mark Ehlen as an assistant. Ehlen joins a staff -- assistants Carla Morrow and Bryce McKey, director of operations Garry Horton and video coordinator Brenden Stowers -- that will lead a team with eight freshmen and a trio of sophomores on the 13-player roster.
Ehlen has 22 years of Division I head coaching experience, all in the state of Ohio, posting a 362-279 overall record in stints at Toledo (1995-08) and Xavier (1986-95).
He returns to XU after spending the last two seasons on the Miami (Ohio) coaching staff, where he helped guide the RedHawks to a 40-23 overall record (2011-12 and 2012-13). Prior to his stint at Miami he spent two seasons as an assistant at Cincinnati. Ehlen brings extensive experience to the Musketeers, having previously been the head coach at Xavier (1986-95) and Toledo (1995-08).
Ehlen, one of the winningest coaches in Mid-American Conference history, spent 13 seasons (1996-2008) at Toledo, earning four MAC Coach of the Year awards and leading the Rockets to eight MAC titles and six postseason berths. A two-time Women's Basketball Coaches Association District 4 Coach of the Year, Ehlen posted a 240-149 record and finished his career at Toledo second in MAC history in conference wins and fifth in overall winning percentage. His 1998-99 team was ranked No. 25 in the final Associated Press poll.
Ehlen teams also have a penchant for performing well in the classroom. In Ehlen's tenure, Rocket players were selected first-team Academic All-MAC eight times and Academic All-District IV first-team seven times, including one CoSIDA Academic All-America pick. The Rockets' success in the classroom was recognized by the WBCA's Academic Top-25 Team Honor Roll four times during his tenure. In 2001-02, the Rockets posted a 3.465 overall team GPA to finish second nationally among more than 300 Division I programs. The Rockets finished in the top eight on three other occasions and posted a 100% graduation rate for four-year players during Ehlen's tenure.
In nine seasons (1986-96) on the bench at Xavier, Ehlen won 122 games and led the Musketeers to the first NCAA Tournament appearance in school history in 1993. He helped XU to the Midwestern Collegiate Conference regular season title in 1992 and the conference tournament title in 1993. His charges were excellent in the classroom as well, holding above a 3.0 grade point average during his nine-year tenure and achieving a 100% graduation rate for four-year players during that span.
Prior to Xavier, Ehlen spent one season as an assistant coach at Dayton, helping the Flyers to an 18-12 record and a second-place finish in the North Star Conference in 1985-86.
Ehlen is an accomplished high school coach as well, having spent five seasons (1979-85) at Forest Park High School in Cincinnati. He compiled a 100-18 overall record and led Forest Park to the 1984 state championship, the first state title for a Cincinnati-area girls' basketball team. He twice earned Ohio High School Coach of the Year honors and was inducted into the Greater Cincinnati Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002. A four-time Hamilton County High School Coach of the Year, he also earned Cincinnati High School Coach of the Year honors in 1983 and 1984.
The Musketeers, who return a trio of starters from last year's squad that went 13-16 overall and 8-8 at Cintas Center, will be in action on Sunday, Nov. 3 when they host Indianapolis (2 p.m.). XU will then open the program's 43rd season (1st in the BIG EAST) against MAC opponent Ohio on Sunday, Nov. 10 at the Convocation Center in Athens, Ohio.
The Blue and White's 2013-14 non-conference slate includes four contests against teams that qualified for postseason play, each of which finished the 2012-13 season with a top-55 RPI. In BIG EAST play, the Musketeers will face each of its nine new league foes twice each as part of the conference's double round-robin format. Four BIG EAST teams appeared in the NCAA Tournament last season (DePaul, St. John's, Creighton and Villanova).
Xavier women's basketball season tickets can be purchased through GoXavier.com and at the Xavier Athletics Ticket Office at Cintas Center. For just $50, season tickets holders can enjoy every minute of the excitement. The XU ticket office is open from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. from Monday through Friday. For more information about season tickets for Xavier women's basketball, fans can call the Xavier Athletics Ticket Office at 513-745-3411 ext. 7.
For the most up-to-date schedule throughout the season, click the 'Schedule' link on the women's basketball page.