Coppin State Legacy

Ron “Fang” Mitchell cast a broad shadow over the basketball landscape at Coppin State College, a small inner city school on North Avenue in Baltimore, Maryland.Ron “Fang” Mitchell cast a broad shadow over the basketball landscape at Coppin State College, a small inner city school on North Avenue in Baltimore, Maryland.

A little background on Coppin State
Founded in 1900 as the Colored High School (later named Douglass High School) on Pennsylvania Avenue, it begin as a one-year training course to train elementary school teachers and by 1902, the training program was expanded to a two-year high school, and in

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By 1938, the school became a four-year institution, granting Bachelor of Science degrees, and the name of the Normal School was changed to Coppin Teachers College. In 1950, Coppin became part of the higher education system of Maryland under the State Department of Education, and renamed Coppin State Teachers College. Two years later, Coppin moved to its present 38-acre site on West North Avenue.
Mitchell was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and was raised in Camden, New Jersey where he graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School. Unable to afford college tuition, Mitchell worked his way through college- attending Gloucester County College and playing on the basketball team. He attended Rutgers University–Camden for a year while working as a shoe company manager and printing

sales representative. He opened his own clothing store (Mr. Fang’s Athletic Attire) in Glassboro, New Jersey, and became so successful he expanded from one to three locations.
In 1978, despite no coaching experience, Mitchell became head coach at Gloucester County College and led the previously struggling Gloucester County Roadrunners to a 19–11 record his first season. They went on to have consecutive seasons with 26 or more wins per year until the 1985–86 season and the Roadrunners made the NJCAA Tournament in 1980, 1981, 1985, and 1986.
While coaching the GCC team, Mitchell became a good friend of Temple coach John Chaney and assisted at Temple University basketball camps. He also found time to complete his Bachelor of Business Administration degree at Thomas Edison State College in 1984.

The Eagles in Flight

In 1986, Coppin State had acquired University status and was a member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC). They hired Mitchell to be head coach for the Coppin State Eagles men’s basketball team- a position he would hold for the next 28 seasons and was named MEAC Coach of the Year six times. He led the Eagles to ten first place finishes in the MEAC regular season standings and onto four NCAA Tournament appearances.
The Eagles improved annually from 8–19 in Mitchell’s first season to 26–7 in the 1989–90 season and a berth in the 1990 NCAA Tournament. The season also included an upset over Maryland.
Coppin State finished the 1993 season with a 22–8 record and first in the MEAC and a bid to the 1993 NCAA Tournament.
Coppin State made the NCAA Tournament in 1997 as a #15 seed and upset #2 South Carolina in the first round before losing to Texas in the second round 82–81.
Mitchell would lead Coppin State to it’s last NCAA Tournament berth in 2008.
In 2014, Mitchell’s tenure at Coppin State ended after a decade long losing streak.

MITCHELL’S COACHING LEGEND

Gloucester County CC    
Season TeamOverall ConferenceStandingPostseason
1978–79Gloucester County19–11
1979–80Gloucester County31–4NJCAA Tournament
1980–81Gloucester County32–5NJCAA Tournament
1981–82Gloucester County26–7
1982–83Gloucester County28–5
1983–84Gloucester County29–5
1984–85Gloucester County30–4NJCAA Tournament
1985–86Gloucester County32–5NJCAA Tournament
Total: 227–46

Coppin State    
SeasonConferenceOverallStandingPostseason
1986–877–68–194th
1987–888–713–145th
1988–8911–518–113rd
1989–9015–126–71st NCAA First Round
1990–9114–2 19–111st NIT First Round
1991–929–715–13 T–4th
1992–9316–022–8 1st NCAA First Round
1993–9416–022–8 1st
1994–9515–121–10 1st NIT Second Round
1994–9514–219–10 T–1st
1996–9715–3 22–9 1st NCAA Second Round
1997–9821–817–1 1st
1998–9914–415–14 T–1st
1999–0013–515–15 T–2nd
2000–0111–813–15 5th
2001–02 3–15 6–25 10th
2002–03 11–7 11–17 T–4th
2003–04 14–418–14 T–1st
2004–05 12–612–18 2nd
2005–0611–516–14 T–2nd
2006–079–9 12–20 8th
2007–087–9 16–21 T–7thNCAA First Round
2008–099–713–19 T–3rd
2009–103–138–22 11th
2009–103–138–22 11th
2010–1111–516–14 T–2nd
2011–129–7 14–16 6th
2012–135–118–24 T–9th
2013–147–912–20 7th
Career Total:308–159429–417

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