From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Mitchell, Lucias T.

(born: 1936  -  died: 2010) Coach Lucias T. Mitchell, born in Orvisburg, MS, was the all-time winningest basketball coach in the history of Kentucky State University (K-State). In his first year as coach at K-State, the 1968-69 season, the team finished with a 10-15 record. The next three seasons the K-State men's basketball team won three consecutive NAIA Championships. K-State became the second school to ever win three NAIA championships in a row. [Tennessee State won three with Coach John McLendon, a former K-State mentor.]

Elmore Smith and Travis Grant, who played for Mitchell, were both first round NBA draft choices, Smith in 1971 and Grant in 1972. Coach Mitchell was chosen as National Coach of the Year in 1970 and 1971. He was the first African American coach elected as a officer to the National Association of Basketball Coaches.

Coach Mitchell is presently the 6th winningest coach in the NCAA Division II with 325 wins and 103 losses over a 15 year period while coaching at Alabama State, Kentucky State, and Norfolk State. The basketball floor in the William Exum Physical Education Building at K-State was named in his honor in 2008.

Lucias Mitchell was a 1956 graduate of Jackson State, where he played on the basketball team coached by Harrison B. Wilson, who later become president of Norfolk State.

Lucias T. Mitchell died February 23, 2010, in Houston, TX.

For more see B. Molinaro, "Ex-NSU coach will be honored for his success at Ky State," The Virginian-Pilot, 10/02/2008, Sports section, p. C1.

This entry was submitted by Lacy L. Rice, Jr.

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NKAA Source: The Virginian-pilot (newspaper)

Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry: Grant, Travis "The Machine"
NKAA Entry: Smith, Elmore "The Big E"

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“Mitchell, Lucias T.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 25, 2024,

Last modified: 2020-08-31 18:43:19