Coppin State will name the floor at its Physical Education Complex Arena in Baltimore after former men’s basketball coach Ron “Fang” Mitchell as part of “Fang Day” on Oct. 16, the school announced Tuesday.
In 28 years leading the Eagles from 1986 until 2014, Mitchell accumulated 429 victories, making him the winningest coach in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference history. During his tenure, Coppin State won 10 regular-season league championships — including six straight from 1994-99 — and four conference tournament titles, advancing to the NCAA tournament in 1990, 1993, 1997, and 2008.
Beginning with the 1988-89 season, the Eagles recorded 11 consecutive winning seasons that included six of at least 20 victories.
Mitchell, a six-time MEAC Coach of the Year, guided the Eagles to one of the greatest upsets in NCAA tournament history in 1997 when No. 15 seed Coppin State upended No. 2 seed South Carolina in the first round. The historic win marked just the third time that a No. 15 seed defeated a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament and was the first victory for a MEAC program.
“It is a privilege to be able to celebrate Coach Fang and the many accomplishments and highlights of his lengthy career in, not just college basketball, but Coppin basketball,” said Coppin State president Dr. Anthony L. Jenkins. “His impact was felt both on and off the court, and it is only fitting that we acknowledge that influence at Coppin State University.”
A special ceremony to honor Mitchell will begin at 1 p.m. in the PEC Arena and will include an on-campus outdoor celebration, which will feature music, food trucks, and other entertainment.