Former West Virginia Head Coach Mike Carey joins UCF WBB staff


Mike Carey, a 34-year collegiate coaching veteran with Big 12 Conference experience, has been hired as assistant coach for the UCF women’s basketball program, head coach Sytia Messer announced on Wednesday. 

“We are excited for Coach Carey to join our staff,” said Messer. “He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to our program. Having previously coached in the Big 12, I feel confident that Mike will help enhance our program to the level we desire to compete in the Big 12. Can’t wait to get to work!”

Carey makes the move to Orlando after spending the past 22 years in West Virginia. He joins UCF following a 21-year stint as head women’s basketball coach at West Virginia, ending with a record of 447-239 (.652).

As head coach of the Mountaineers, Carey led the team to 11 NCAA Tournament appearances, five WNIT Tournament appearances, a Big 12 regular-season title (2014) and a Big 12 Tournament Championship (2017).

Throughout his tenure at West Virginia, the three-time conference coach of the year held the highest winning percentage in program history and reached 200 wins the fastest, doing so in his 10th season. For his career, Carey boasts a 735-341 (.683) record in 34 years of coaching.

Along with sending 10 players to the WNBA, Carey has coached 74 all-conference honorees and his teams have been ranked among the top 25, 131 weeks during his tenure. Additionally, his teams have defeated 45 ranked opponents and seven of those ranked in the top 10.

During the 2020-21 season, Carey was named a semifinalist for the Naismith Women’s College Coach of the Year and was named a member of the 2021 Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Victory Club.

Prior to West Virginia, Carey served as the head men’s basketball coach at Salem College (Div. II) in Salem, West Virginia. Before he took the reins of the program, the Tigers posted an 8-19 mark in the 1987-88 season. The program suffered just one losing campaign during his regime.

 In 13 seasons, Carey’s Salem teams made seven postseason appearances (two NAIA and five NCAA Division II) and won five West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC) championships (1993, 1994, 1997, 1998, 1999).

Three times the WVIAC tournament champion, the Tigers were twice participants in the Division II Elite Eight, ranked No. 1 in the country during two seasons and played in the Division II Final Four in 1997. A four-time WVIAC Coach of the Year (1994, 1997-99), Carey twice was named NCAA Division II East Region Coach of the Year (1997, 1999). In his last season before arriving in Morgantown, Carey’s Tigers were 26-7, ranked as high as No. 4 nationally and advanced to the NCAA East Region finals. Carey’s career record at Salem was 288-102 and his record during the last five years of his tenure was 138-20. He also served as director of athletics at Salem since 1989-2000.

Before going to Salem as an assistant coach in 1987, Carey coached for seven years in the West Virginia high school ranks, serving as girls’ basketball coach at Flemington and Clarksburg Liberty High Schools. In 1986, he was Harrison County and Big 10 Coach of the Year, as Liberty advanced to the regional finals. As boys’ coach in 1987, he led Liberty to conference, county and sectional titles.

Carey was a four-year basketball letterman at Salem, earning WVIAC Freshman of the Year (1977), WVIAC scoring champion (1978) and Salem MVP and WVIAC all-tournament team (1979) honors while scoring more than 2,000 career points. He was a 1993 inductee into the Salem Athletic Hall of Fame. Carey’s No. 32 jersey was retired at Liberty High School in Clarksburg, West Virginia, on February 19, 2016.

A native of Clarksburg, West Virginia, Carey is a 1980 Salem graduate with a bachelor’s degree in physical education. He received his master’s degree from Salem in 1988.

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