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Dr. Mitts to Retire from Coaching and Evan Belk to Become Head Basketball Coach Following the 2023-2024 Season

Date Posted: September 19, 2023 Author: Randon Coffey

Dr. Maryann Mitts has announced her retirement from coaching after the 2023-2024 season. Mitts will move into the athletic director role full-time, and assistant basketball coach Evan Belk will become the Comets’ next head coach.

“I am so grateful that I have been able to live out my passion as a college coach for so many years,” said Mitts. “Cottey has been a perfect place for me to enjoy coaching one last time. I have been happy and fulfilled because of the wonderful student-athletes I have been lucky enough to coach over the past three years.”

Mitts began her tenure at Cottey in February 2021 as head basketball coach and athletic director. During her time at Cottey, she has helped transition the athletics department to the American Midwest Conference, fostered growth in the number of student athletes, and worked to improve community service and fundraising efforts for the department. Mitts has coached for 20 years at the college level, including at Rockhurst University (1995-2000) and Missouri Southern State University (2000-2013). She is the winningest women’s basketball coach in Missouri Southern history.

“Working in college athletics is more than a job, it’s a lifestyle,” Dr. Mitts said. “To do it well, the profession requires enormous time and energy. It demands giving a lot of oneself to the people and the programs daily. Retiring from coaching will allow me to continue to help Cottey athletics improve and grow while leaving the basketball program with a strong foundation. I have full confidence in Coach Belk and where he will lead our program.”

Belk is beginning his third year as the Comets assistant basketball coach. Additionally, he brings eight years of basketball coaching experience at the high school level. He served as an assistant coach at Carthage High School and College Heights Christian School and as the Regional Director for Rain Makers Christian sports ministry.

“I would like to thank Dr. Niles, Dr. Adams, and Dr. Mitts for this opportunity,” said Belk. “One phone call from Dr. Mitts three years ago changed my life. She allowed me to live out my passion, and I am truly grateful for that. Everyone in our program is focused on making this Dr. Mitts’ best year of coaching. I look forward to continuing to work with our incredible student athletes in our program.”

“Our athletics department does an outstanding job developing our student-athletes to be successful both on and off the court,” said Dr. Stefanie Niles, President of Cottey College. “We look forward to Dr. Mitts having more time to devote to the great work she has already done as athletic director and seeing Evan ably guide our basketball program.”

The Comets basketball team begins their season on October 28.

Randon Coffey

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Randon Coffey