What's next for former Marquette University women's basketball coach? Terri Mitchell wants to give back

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The college basketball season is right around the corner, but this season will be different for one long-time Milwaukee hoops fixture.

Terri Mitchell has been on a basketball court as a player or coach since she was nine years old -- so where else would she feel most comfortable -- most able to discuss what she thinks about these days?

"Besides relationships, which are number one, I say what are the two areas? My faith life -- my faith in Christ and basketball, so I want to give back. As I look forward to March and what doors I hope are going to open in the basketball world, I want to give back," Mitchell said.

That means traveling to Africa with "Soles for Jesus," speaking in the Milwaukee community and doing prison ministry.

"On the basketball side, I want to give back to the game that has given me so much. I want to do coaching clinics and I want to be available to coaches for any expertise -- not that I know everything, but just to give a resource of my 23 years of coaching," Mitchell said.

23 years at Marquette University -- five as an assistant and 18 as the women's head coach, Mitchell won 348 games and made 15 postseason appearance -- seven of those in the NCAA Tournament.

"It's a strange feeling. 23 years -- half of my life on Marquette's campus and you go through all range of feelings and emotion when that chapter ended. You go from 100 down to zero quickly. Did I want to coach there more? Sure. I did. But you know what? They're going to be absolutely fine. It's a great institution. They're going to be fine. I'm going to be fine. We both keep moving and doing the things that we've been called to do," Mitchell said.

Mitchell is making her first public comments since leaving Marquette. Like most coaches, she's focused on the future, rather than the past.

"I'm not going to sit around and feel sorry for myself. I'm a leader and I'm here to impact lives, so I want to continue to do that," Mitchell said.

Mitchell is putting on a free coaches clinic at Mount Mary University later this month -- and another in Illinois next month. She hopes those become more than just "x's and o's" sessions, because she says she thinks there is much more to coaching than that. She also hopes there's a return to the bench in her future.

"Do I love coaching? Yeah. The ball goes up -- the butterflies in the stomach. Am I going to miss it? Yeah. 100 percent. I'm going to miss not being on the sidelines, but do I know there are great things ahead of me? Absolutely -- and this is just a transition time for me," Mitchell said.

The transition phase is an important part of a basketball game, and Mitchell is making it an important part of her life.

One of Mitchell's former players, Carolyn Kieger is the new coach of the Golden Eagles women's team.

CLICK HERE for details on Terri Mitchell's upcoming coaches clinic at Mount Mary University.