Mike Neighbors enters his second season as the head coach at Washington and fourth with the Huskies overall. He was promoted to head coach on April 21, 2013. He had previously worked as the top assistant coach under Kevin McGuff for two seasons with the Huskies.
In his first year at the helm of the Husky program, the 45-year-old 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 oversaw the development of several individuals, inclduing Jazmine Davis who was named All-Pac-12 First Team for the third consecutive season. She has a chance to become the first four-time All-Conference player at UW, while also being on pace to break the all-time scoring record. Neighbors also has continued to develop two other players on pace to break major school records with Aminah Williams and Talia Walton projected to take down the school's rebounding and blocked shots records this year.
In addition to the continued development of his returning players, Neighbors guided his prized recruit Kelsey Plum to arguably the best season in Washington history. 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.
In his final year as an assistant, 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.
Neighbors worked with the team's guards, including Jazmine Davis who through two seasons has scored more points than any Husky in school history. Neighbors is also regarded as one of the country's best defensive and player-development specialists.
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 eight McDonald's All-Americans, 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. 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 (17) and a son Alec (11). He lives in Seattle.