Mitchell compiled a 131-112-20 record at NSU, third most wins of any coach in the Southland, and mounted a 204-169-23 career record that spans over 20 years - the most wins of any conference head coach in league history.
“Jimmy Mitchell has been the face of the Northwestern State women’s soccer program for the majority of its existence and is appreciated beyond words for his immeasurable contributions to the success and overall well-being of the program,” said NSU Director of Athletics Greg Burke. “I am certain that I am joined by everyone associated with the NSU athletic program in wishing him the best in his future endeavors.”
“I have enjoyed spending 13 years of my life in Natchitoches and at Northwestern State. I came to NSU thinking I would be here a few years and then move on to another university but once we became entrenched in the community, my family fell in love with the people and the culture of the area. Because of this I have turned down several chances to take other jobs to stay at NSU. I am glad that we made the decision to move here 13 years ago and experience such a unique and special place,” said Mitchell.
“Sometimes you just know it is time to change courses in your life and pursue other avenues of employment. Now is that time for me. I will be exploring several options of employment as I move forward.
“I would like to thank the people that made it possible for me to come to NSU and the ones that made my stay so special. NSU will always have a special place in my heart. I have been blessed to work along side some incredible people each day.
“The NSU soccer team is being left in great shape. Eighteen of the 26 players on the roster this past year were freshmen and sophomores. They will be a year older a year and more mature next year. I spoke to them today (Thursday) and told them that I expect great things from their future. They are all special players but more importantly, great students and great people. They will do special things.
“I know during my tenure as the NSU soccer coach we have been fortunate to win a lot of games, championships and play in three NCAA tournaments. More importantly, I am proud that we have consistently produced great student athletes. We have consistently been at the top of the Southland Conference and the state in APR and GSR. Our players have gone on to be great citizens in society. They have gone on to represent NSU and Natchitoches the way it should be represented, with class.”
Mitchell arrived on the NSU campus prior to the 1999 season and didn’t take long to grab the program’s first-ever league title and postseason appearance after a 15-8 campaign in 2000. Two years later, in 2002, the team returned to the NCAA tournament after winning its third conference tournament championship. And in 2005, the Lady Demons became the first team in the state of Louisiana to play in the NCAA tourney three times after they won their fourth Southland conference tournament title - third under Mitchell.
During his tenure at NSU, Mitchell coached 26 All-Southland Conference First Team selections and 25 more that garnered second team honors. He coached four conference players of the year, one freshman of the year, and was named the Southland and Louisiana coach of the year in 2000 and 2002.
This past season, Mitchell joined an elite group of soccer coaches as he became one of just 40 active coaches to top the 200 career-win milestone after the Lady Demons defeated Jackson State this past September. His 204 career wins also ranks him in the top 55 in Division I in career all-time victories.