MINONK, Ill. — Mitch Neally is proud of where he has the Fieldcrest High School girls basketball program.
The Knights are 23-4 this year and won their first ever regional title last year.
“Fieldcrest girls basketball has come a long way in the five years I’ve been here,” said Mitch Neally, who won his 100th career game as head coach last week. “It’s a testament to all the girls I’ve had. I’m hard them but it’s with tough love.”
Speaking of tough love, Neally coaches the team with his wife. She is the former Katy Seibring, a star player at Normal Community and Illinois Wesleyan.
“It’s good to have your wife on the bench. It’s good to come home and and talk about (games),” Mitch Neally said. “She gets it as a wife. She knows the late nights, the film sessions, those types of things.
The Neally’s were married in the summer of 2018. This is the second season Kate has assisted her husband on the bench.
“Initially I said, in our first year of marriage do we want to be coaching together?” Kate Neally said. “It’s been a good thing to have a female on staff. The girls like having someone they can relate to.”
The couple says coaching the Knights actually gives them more time together. And they understand their roles.
“I like ot think I calm him down,” Kate Neally said. “You can see that he likes to walk a lot, along the bench. Sometimes he needs to do that. I’m fine sitting and talking to the girls one-on-one.”
Mitch Neally hopes he can get Fieldcrest into a second consecutive sectional. He knows his wife is a key helper in the process.
“She has a love for these kids,” Mitch Neally said. “I’m lucky to have her as a coach, not just my wife.”