Mike Neighbors enters his third season as the head coach at Washington and fifth with the Huskies overall. He was promoted to head coach on April 21, 2013. He had previously worked as the top assistant coach for two seasons with the Huskies.
Neighbors has overseen the resurgence of the Husky program, including the Dawgs first trip to the NCAA tournament in eight seasons. Last year, Washington won 23 games, the most since 1995 and defeated five teams ranked in the top-25 at some point during the season. Those wins included beating No. 5 Texas A&M, No. 7 Oregon State and Florida State who finished with a No. 7 ranking and made the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.
Neighbors record now includes wins over 10 ranked teams in two seasons, while owning a career Pac-12 winning percentage of .583 (21-15), which ranks third among active conference coaches behind only Tara Vanderveer and Lindsay Gottlieb.
In 2015, the Dawgs also earned their first national ranking since 2003 when they earned a spot in the top-25 of the Coaches Poll. The Huskies were named midseason as one of the top-20 teams in the country in the NCAA Tournament Early Look. The Dawgs would go onto earn a No. 6 seed in the NCAA's, traveling to Iowa City where they were upset by No. 11 Miami in an exciting up-tempo game that went down to the final possessions.
In his first year at the helm of the Husky program, Neighbors led the Dawgs to a third-straight 20-win season and trip to the quarterfinals of the WNIT. Washington finished 20-14, including 10-8 in the Pac-12. The Dawgs defeated five teams that were ranked at some point during the season, including an upset of then-No. 3 Stanford at Alaska Airlines Arena in front of a nationally televised audience. The win ended the 58-game road conference winning streak of the Cardinal.
Neighbors has overseen the development of several individuals, inclduing Jazmine Davis who was named All-Pac-12 First Team all four seasons, becoming the first player in Washington history to achieve that distinction. Under Neighbors' tutelage, Davis would also become the Dawgs all-time leading scorer, while breaking nearly every school offensive record in the process. Neighbors also has continued to develop two other players that would break major school records with Aminah Williams and Talia Walton taking down the school's all-time rebounding and blocked shots records.
In addition to the continued development of the veteran players, Neighbors two seasons have overseen the best start to a career of any Husky player ever. As a freshman, Kelsey Plum set the single-season scoring record at UW with 712 points, while also earning Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and Freshman All-America honors from several news outlets. This past season, Plum surpassed her scoring record with 746 points, while leading the Pac-12 in scoring at 22.8 points per game. She was named to nearly every watch list, including being named a finalist for the Wooden Award, being named WNCA All-Region and once again to the All-Pac-12 First Team.
Previously as an assistant, Neighbors worked with the team's guards, including Davis who through two seasons has scored more points than any Husky in school history. He was regarded as one of the country's best defensive and player-development specialists.
In 2013, Neighbors helped the Huskies to a second-straight 20-win season and a return trip to the WNIT. Washington finished 21-12, including 11-7 in the Pac-12, good for a fifth-place finish.
In his first year at UW, Neighbors assisted the Husky women to a 20-14 season and trip to the quarterfinals of the WNIT. It was the first 20-win season for UW since 2002-03. Neigbors also saw the development of guard Jazmine Davis, who was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year after averaging 15.7 points for the season.
Neighbors' accomplishments in women's basketball speak for themselves. He's helped sign nine McDonald's All-Americans, including incoming freshman Deja Strother who joins Katie Collier and Plum as McDonald's All-Americans on the Huskies roster. He has seen eight of his players drafted in the WNBA, including three who have won WNBA Championships. Everywhere Neighbors has coached, he's overseen the development of either the No. 1 or No. 2 all-time leading scorer in program history, most recently with Davis at UW. Neighbors is a regular speaker at coaching conventions and clinics around the nation, and his weekly newsletter is popular with coaches at all levels.
Neighbors came to Seattle after four seasons at Xavier, where he worked with former Huskies coach Kevin McGuff. During Neighbors' tenure in Cincinnati, he helped mold a Musketeers program that established itself as one of the best in the nation. Neighbors was named one of basketballscoop.com's "Rising Stars" in 2009, an award that recognizes assistant coaches who are some of the best in the business.
While at Xavier, Neighbors was a part of a coaching staff that produced some of the best seasons in school history. During the 2009-10 season, the Musketeers posted a 30-4 record, including a flawless 14-0 season in Atlantic-10 Conference play. Xavier ended the season ranked No. 5 in the polls. In addition, Xavier advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.
In his final year at Xavier, Neighbors helped lead the program to a 29-3 record and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament's Second Round. During his tenure at Xavier, Neighbors was part of a staff that compiled a 61-5 non-conference record (108-22 overall), captured three A-10 Tournaments, three A-10 Regular Season Champs, and competed in four straight NCAA Tournaments.
Neighbors is also considered an excellent recruiter, and helped the Musketeers ink the No. 18 rated class of 2010 according to ESPN Hoopgurlz.
As the coach responsible for developing post players, Neighbors was instrumental in the growth of Amber Harris and Ta'Shia Phillips, two of the best players in Musketeer history. Harris, a 6-5 forward, was a two-time State Farm All-America selection and was drafted fourth overall by the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx. Meanwhile, Phillips was noted as one of the premier defensive players in the nation. The 6-6 center was the leading rebounder in XU history, in addition to her numerous national accolades.
Neighbors came to XU from the University of Arkansas, where he was an assistant coach for a season, his second stint in Fayetteville. Prior to returning to his alma mater, Neighbors was an assistant coach at the University of Colorado and the University of Tulsa, both under Kathy McConnell-Miller. In Boulder, Neighbors helped develop the school's all-time leading scorer in Brittany Spears, a 2011 WNBA draft selection. At Tulsa, Neighbors was an assistant on the up-and-coming Hurricane's program that enjoyed back-to-back postseason appearances.
A native of Greenwood, Ark., Neighbors received his bachelor's degree from the University of Arkansas in 1993. Following his graduation, Neighbors was a director of basketball operations for the women's basketball program, serving under legendary coach Gary Blair, who won the NCAA Championship in 2011 with Texas A&M. Before moving into the collegiate ranks, Neighbors was a highly successful head coach in the Arkansas girls' high school ranks. His most notable achievement was taking a 1-24 Bentonville team to the State Championships two years later.
Neighbors has two children, one daughter Abby (18) and a son Alec (12). He lives in Seattle.