Blue Finalizes Kennesaw State Women’s Basketball Coaching Staff

Kennesaw State women’s basketball coach Octavia Blue finalized her coaching staff on Friday, announcing the additions of Janie Mitchell, Kym Hope, Noelle Cobb and Matthew Walter to the KSU family.

Mitchell rejoins Kennesaw State after serving as an assistant coach on the team from 2013-2016 and will serve as the associate head coach under Blue. 

Before succeeding as a coach, she also prospered as a player at Georgia Tech. Mitchell became a team captain for the Yellow Jackets as a sophomore, leading the team to its first-ever win in the NCAA Tournament in March 2007. She helped bring the team to new heights, securing consecutive 20-plus win seasons and NCAA appearances in school history. She is just the 15th Jacket in program history to finish her career with 1,000 points and 500 rebounds. After her graduation, Mitchell began a professional career in Rousse, Bulgaria for Dunav Econt; she was the first American female athlete to play in the European city. Mitchell brings a plethora of coaching experience back to Kennesaw State: she was a graduate assistant at Jackson State; she served three seasons under head coach Nitra Perry as an assistant coach at Kennesaw State before serving at Stony Brook University. Mitchell joins Coach Blue’s staff after serving two seasons as the head coach of the University of Bridgeport Purple Knights.

“Janie brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and familiarity to the staff here at KSU,” said Coach Blue. “As an established recruiter, Coach Mitchell has strong relationships in the state of Georgia and within the region. Her impact on this program will be felt right from the start.”

Just like Coach Blue, Kym Hope is an inductee of the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame for her playing career as a Hurricane. Co-captaining the team with Blue, Hope sports a resume that includes two All-Big East First Team selections and finishing her career in the top ten in school history in scoring, rebounds, field-goal percentage, blocked shots, free-throw percentage, free throws made, free-throw attempts and games played. After her career at Miami, Hope had a fruitful career playing professional basketball domestically in the WNBA and overseas in Spain, Korea and Greece. Hope joins the Owls as an assistant coach after an 11-year run as the head coach of Johnson & Wales’ program. In her time in North Miami, Fla., the coach has developed two Sun Conference Freshmen of the Year, nine all-conference honorees, eight NAIA Scholar-Athlete awards and the program’s first all-American in Tianna Ayulo.

Kym Hope, a longtime head coach, brings an invaluable element here to the nest,” said Blue. “I have known Kym for several years and our young ladies will benefit greatly from her ability to share her knowledge of the game and her commitment to a championship mentality.”

Noelle Cobb continues her working relationship with Blue following a two-year partnership at Miami with the Hurricanes. Cobb was promoted to the Coral Gables school’s interim assistant coach in December 2020 after being hired as a Director of Video Operation in 2019. The new KSU assistant’s coaching career began after averaging 12 points and five rebounds per game in two seasons at the University of La Verne in California. 

“Noelle Cobb is the best-kept secret and a rising star in coaching,” Blue said of Cobb. “She is energetic and relationship-driven with a great work ethic. She loves the game and is hungry to learn. There is no better person I’d want our players to be around.”

Rounding out Blue’s staff is new Director of Basketball Operations Matthew Walter. Walter is another addition familiar with Blue from their days at the University of Miami where he served two years as the Head Student Manager. He then moved onto the Golden Coast, where he worked as the Assistant Director of Women’s Basketball Operations for the University of San Francisco. At USF, Walter coordinated all scouting report breakdowns for opponents, handled responsibilities for all team film sessions and assisted with team travel. 

“Matt is a relentless worker who I have seen tremendous growth in since our time together at Miami,” said Blue. “He is detailed, efficient and organized. It was a no-brainer hire for me because I know firsthand what he brings to the table.”