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Mitch Henderson

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Mitch Henderson
Sport(s) Basketball
Current position
Title Head coach
Team Princeton
Conference Ivy League
Record 96–52 (.649)
Biographical details
Born (1975-08-14) August 14, 1975 (age 41)
Playing career
1994–1998 Princeton
1998–1999 Sligo
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
2000–2011 Northwestern (asst.)
2011–present Princeton
Head coaching record
Overall 96–52 (.649)
Tournaments 2–2 (CBI)
Accomplishments and honors
  • Second-team All-Ivy (1998)
  • South Bend Tribune high school Male Athlete of the Year (1994)

Mitchell G. "Mitch" Henderson (born August 14, 1975) is an American college basketball coach, currently serving as head coach for the Princeton Tigers men's basketball team. Before taking the Princeton job in 2011, he served as an assistant for the Northwestern Wildcats men's basketball team for eleven seasons under Bill Carmody.[1] He had been a member of three consecutive Ivy League champion Princeton teams as a player (two of which went undefeated in conference, the first tying the school record with 19 consecutive wins and the second achieving 20). He was a co-captain of the second of these undefeated league champions along with Steve Goodrich.

Early life[edit]

Henderson was a twelve-time varsity letter winner at Culver Military Academy in football, basketball and baseball. He had been drafted by the New York Yankees with the 24th pick of the 29th round, 815th overall in the 1994 Major League Baseball draft.[2][3] In baseball, he was a pitcher.[4] He was named the 1994 South Bend Tribune high school Male Athlete of the Year.[5] He did not sign with the Yankees and retained his amateur status although he chose to pursue basketball rather than baseball in college.

As a basketball player, he was a four-year starter at Princeton University, where he was captain of the Ivy League champion 1997–98 Princeton Tigers men's basketball team as well as a member of the 1995–96 and 1996–97 conference champions. The latter two teams were undefeated in conference play. These two undefeated Ivy League seasons were coached by Carmody.[2] The 1995–96 team was notable for its upset of the defending national champion UCLA Bruins in the 1996 NCAA Tournament.[2]

The 1996–97 team finished the regular season on a school record 19-game winning streak.[6][7] In the 1997 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, against the fifth-seeded California Golden Bears, the team lost 55–52.[7][8][9] Henderson had tied the score at 50 with 1:37 to play.[10] Henderson was a 1997 honorable mention All-Ivy League selection.[11]

The 1997–98 team posted a 27–2 overall record, reached the top 10 in the national polls, and achieved a 14–0 conference record.[2][7] The Tigers entered the 1998 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament on a 19-game winning streak and finished the season ranked eighth in the final USAToday/NABC Coaches Poll.[12][13] He was a 1998 2nd team All-Ivy League selection.[14] In the 1998 tournament opening game for the fifth-seeded Tigers, he scored 19 points to help them defeat the UNLV Runnin' Rebels 69–57, which marked the team's 20th consecutive win—a school record.[7][15][16]

He was briefly a member of the Atlanta Hawks of the National Basketball Association during the 1998–99 NBA season, but he did not appear in any regular season games.[17][18] He also played professional basketball in Sligo, Ireland, from August 1998 to January 1999.[2]

Coaching career[edit]

Henderson served as an assistant to his former coach Carmody during Carmody's first eleven seasons as the coach at Northwestern University. Carmody used Henderson, who commonly scrimmaged with the players, as part of a joke for a Sports Illustrated: "I don't mind that Mitch is cagier and smarter than all those guys on the court. The thing that bothers me is that he's faster than all of them."[19] During Henderson's final three seasons at Northwestern, the team qualified for the National Invitation Tournament.[20][21][22]

Henderson was selected to replace outgoing Princeton head coach Sydney Johnson. He inherited a 2010–11 team that narrowly lost to Kentucky in its opening game of the 2011 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament.[23] The team returned its 2nd leading scorer and rebounder,[24] Ian Hummer, who as a sophomore was a 2nd team All-Ivy selection.[25]

With a new head coach who is a first-time head coach, the 2011–12 Tigers got off to a slow start with a 1–5 record, but won 18 of its final 24 games and started its conference schedule with a 2–3 record, but won 8 of its final 9 games.[26] Eventually, Princeton earned its first home win against a ranked opponent since the 1976–77 team's January 3, 1977 victory over Notre Dame by defeating Harvard (No. 21 Coaches/25 AP) on February 11, 2012.[27] The win was also its first against a ranked opponent on any court since November 11, 1997,[26] which is when the 1997–98 team opened its season with a victory over a ranked Texas team at Meadowlands Arena (now named Izod Center) in East Rutherford, New Jersey.[28][29] Princeton also defeated eventual 2012 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament Champion Florida State five weeks after Harvard did.[26][30][31] The team qualified for the 2012 CBI Tournament and earned a first round 95–86 victory over Evansville.[32][33] In the subsequent game against Pittsburgh, Princeton lost 82–61 to end the season.[34][35]

The 2012–13 Tigers finished with a 17–11 (10–4) record and did not qualify for the post season.[36][37] Princeton had entered the final weekend of the season with three games remaining and a half game lead over Harvard.[38] The team got swept in its two weekend games while Harvard won both its games to clinch the 2012–13 Ivy League title.[39]

The 2013–14 team lost in the second round of the 2nd Round CBI to finish with a 21–9 (8–6) record.[40]

Head coaching record[edit]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Princeton Tigers (Ivy League) (2011–present)
2011–12 Princeton 20–12 10–4 3rd CBI Quarterfinals
2012–13 Princeton 17–11 10–4 2nd
2013–14 Princeton 21–9 8–6 3rd CBI Quarterfinals
2014–15 Princeton 16–14 9–5 3rd
2015–16 Princeton 22–7 12–2 2nd NIT First Round
Princeton: 96–53 (.644) 49–21 (.700)
Total: 96–53 (.644)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


Henderson earned his A.B. from Princeton in 1998 in economics and worked as a research associate for Lendx Corporation in San Francisco before beginning his coaching career.[2] He was senior-year roommates with James Mastaglio,[41] who was a 1998 honorable mention All-Ivy League selection.[42]


  1. ^ "Princeton introduces Mitch Henderson". ESPN. 2011-04-21. Retrieved 2011-04-27. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Mitch Henderson". CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2011-04-27. 
  3. ^ "Mitch Henderson". Princeton University. Retrieved 2011-11-06. 
  4. ^ "Vikes rally, Rochester falls short". The Rochester Sentinel (Compass Edition). 1994-06-08. Retrieved 2011-11-06. 
  5. ^ Lesar, Al (2011-07-03). "High school: Top athlete measures up to greatness". South Bend Tribune. Retrieved 2011-11-06. 
  6. ^ "Results Plus". The New York Times. 1997-03-05. Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  7. ^ a b c d "Men's Basketball Record Book • All-Time Results". Princeton Athletic Communications. 2010-09-27. 
  8. ^ Araton, Harvey (1997-03-14). "Two Upstarts Go Down Fighting". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-10-03. 
  9. ^ Princeton Athletic Communications (2009-06-22). "Men's Basketball Record Book • Men's Basketball in the Postseason". Princeton University. Retrieved 2010-09-30. 
  10. ^ Moran, Malcolm (1997-03-14). "L.I.U. Takes Its Shots but Is Silenced by Villanova". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-10-03. 
  11. ^ "Mitch Henderson '98 Returns to Princeton as Head Men's Basketball Coach". Princeton University. 2011-04-20. Retrieved 2011-04-28. 
  12. ^ "Division I Records" (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association. p. 85. Retrieved 2010-10-03. 
  13. ^ Curry, Jack (1998-03-09). "1998 N.C.A.A. Tournament; Seedings Are Sown, And 64 Dreams Born". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-10-03. 
  14. ^ 2009-10 Ivy League Basketball Media Guide. p. 43. 
  15. ^ Curry, Jack (1998-03-13). "1998 N.C.A.A. Tournament: First Round -- East; A Fluke No More: Princeton Shuts Down U.N.L.V.". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-10-03. 
  16. ^ Princeton Athletic Communications (2009-06-22). "Men's Basketball Record Book • Individual & Team Records". Princeton University. Retrieved 2011-05-04. 
  17. ^ "N.B.A. Transactions". The New York Times. 1999-01-22. Retrieved 2011-04-27. 
  18. ^ "Transactions". The New York Times. 1999-01-26. Retrieved 2011-04-27. 
  19. ^ Ballard, Chris (2010-01-11). "The Seven-decade Itch". CNN. Retrieved 2011-04-28. 
  20. ^ "Big Ten Men's Basketball Prepares for Postseason: Record-tying seven Big Ten teams selected to participate in NCAA Championship". CBS Interactive. 2009-03-17. Retrieved 2011-04-28. 
  21. ^ "Men's Basketball Release: Week 19: Five teams earn NCAA Tournament berths". CBS Interactive. 2010-03-18. Retrieved 2011-04-28. 
  22. ^ "Big Ten Men's Basketball Postseason Release - March 14, 2011: Big Ten ties conference record with seven teams selected for NCAA Tournament". CBS Interactive. 2011-03-14. Retrieved 2011-04-28. 
  23. ^ "Mitch Henderson new Princeton coach". ESPN. 2011-04-20. Retrieved 2011-04-28. 
  24. ^ "Princeton Tigers Stats - 2010-11". ESPN. Retrieved 2011-04-28. 
  25. ^ "Men's Basketball All-Ivy -- 2010-11". 2011-03-09. Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  26. ^ a b c "Game Notes: Men's Basketball to Open CBI with Evansville Tuesday". Princeton University. 2012-03-11. Retrieved 2012-03-13. 
  27. ^ "Princeton hands No. 21 Harvard first Ivy League loss". ESPN. 2012-02-11. Retrieved 2012-03-13. 
  28. ^ "Men's Basketball Record Book • All-Time Results". Princeton University. Retrieved 2012-03-13. 
  29. ^ "Division I Records" (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association. p. 80. Retrieved 2010-08-28. 
  30. ^ (2012-03-11). "Florida State Wins the #ACCTRNY 85–82 over North Carolina: This is Florida State's first ACC Championship". CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2012-03-14. 
  31. ^ "Florida State Seminoles Schedule – 2011–12". ESPN. Retrieved 2012-03-12. 
  32. ^ "Princeton 95 (20–11, 10–4 Ivy); Evansville 86 (16–16, 9–9 MVC)". ESPN. 2012-03-13. Retrieved 2012-03-14. 
  33. ^ "Davis's Career-High 31 Leads Princeton to First-Round CBI Win". Princeton University. 2012-03-13. Retrieved 2012-03-14. 
  34. ^ "Princeton 61 (20-12, 10-4 Ivy); Pittsburgh 82 (19-16, 5-13 Big East)". ESPN. 2012-03-19. Retrieved 2012-03-20. 
  35. ^ "Davis Becomes School's Second-Leading Scorer, but Tigers Lose to Pitt". Princeton University. 2012-03-19. Retrieved 2012-03-20. 
  36. ^ "Notes On The @Princeton_Hoops Season In Review". 2013-03-17. Retrieved 2013-03-20. 
  37. ^ "2012-13 Ivy League Men's Basketball" (PDF). 2013-03-20. Retrieved 2013-03-20. 
  38. ^ "Men's Basketball Weekly Release - Week 18". 2013-03-04. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  39. ^ "Men's Basketball Weekly Release - Week 19". 2013-03-11. Retrieved 2013-03-20. 
  40. ^ "2013-14 Ivy League Men's Basketball: Postseason 5: April 2, 2014" (PDF). 2014-04-02. Retrieved 2014-04-18. 
  41. ^ Curry, Jack (1998-03-10). "1998 N.C.A.A. Tournament; Swaggering Through the Backdoor". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-04-28. 
  42. ^ Tenenblatt, Daniel (1998-11-16). "COLUMN: Not so fast, Princeton's still competitive". Daily Pennsylvanian. Retrieved 2011-04-28. 

External links[edit]