A familiar face once again will grace the sidelines for Austin Peay State University women’s basketball team as David Midlick has been named the 10th head coach in program history.
Midlick, a former Govs and Lady Govs assistant who led Delta State to consecutive Division II tournament appearances and mostly recently served as associate head coach at Memphis, was introduced at a press conference, Wednesday morning, in the Dunn Center.
Former athletic director Derek van der Merwe participated in a nation-wide search that yielded a diverse, well-qualified pool of candidates. Midlick’s track record of success as a head coach, commitment to building a winning program and knowledge of the game made him an excellent fit for the position.
“Today, the Austin Peay State University athletics program takes another step in building a culture of excellence with the hiring of David Midlick as its head women’s basketball coach,” van der Merwe said.
“The Governors have hired an individual who embraces excellence in the classroom, in the community, and in competition. His resume, education, experience, and reputation in this community is that of a proven winner who has a passion for this University and its students. We are fortunate and excited to have him lead our women’s basketball program.”
“We want to make sure we support (our student-athletes) in everything they do,” Midlick said. “When parents entrust their daughters to us for four years, we’re going to do everything possible in making sure that their academic dreams come true.
“We’re going to have a culture of teamwork, effort and attitude. Those are the three things that we can control every day. We want them to be a team, not just because they’re working together, but because they trust and care about each other. We want them to give nothing but 100 percent at an elite, championship-level every day in the classroom and on the court.”
Midlick comes to APSU after serving one season under Melissa McFerrin at Memphis, where he worked with the post players, recruited a seven-state area and served as the team’s academic, strength and conditioning and training room liaison.
Under Midlick’s tutelage, the Tigers post-players improved their collective field-goal percentage in 2014-15, and Memphis saw its opponent scoring average decrease by more than five points per contest.
Fans of Austin Peay will know Midlick’s name from his long-time association with Govs and Lady Govs basketball. Midlick got his college coaching start as a volunteer assistant for Austin Peay’s men’s basketball team in 2003, holding that position through 2006 during an era that saw the Govs finish unbeaten in Ohio Valley Conference play in 2003-04 and advance to two conference tournament championship games (2004 and 2006) and one National Invitational Tournament appearance in 2004.
The Ole Miss alum returned in 2010 as an assistant coach for Austin Peay’s women’s team. In his two years, the Lady Govs qualified for back-to-back OVC Tournament’s, with Midlick helping oversee an eight-point decrease in opponent’s scoring average between his first and second season’s. Jasmine Rayner, a member of Austin Peay’s 1000-point club, enjoyed her finest season (10.5 ppg, 7.7 rpg) during Midlick’s first year as an assistant for the Lady Govs.
Prior to his stint in Memphis, Midlick served two seasons as head coach at Delta State University, guiding the Lady Statesmen to consecutive Gulf South Conference regular-season championships and two NCAA Division II South Region appearances, including a Sweet 16 berth.
Despite returning just one starter in his first season at the Delta State helm, Midlick led his squad to a 21-10 record and an NCAA South Region finalist appearance, with Chelsey Rhodes earning GSC Freshman of the Year honors and Seneca Walton and Rhandi Ball earning second-team all-conference honors.
A year later, Midlick’s charges posted a 24-6 mark and advanced to the GSC Tournament final, falling 67-59 to West Florida. During the 2013-14 regular season, Delta State climbed as high as No. 9 in the USA Today / WBCA National Poll, with Walton eventually earning GSC Player of the Year; Rhodes also was tabbed as a first-team all-conference selection.
The hallmark of Midlick’s most successful teams has been defense, which that 2013-14 Lady Statesmen squad certainly displayed. That season, Delta State led NCAA Division II in field-goal percentage defense (33.5 percent) and points allowed per game (53.3 ppg).
Midlick is no stranger to the OVC. In addition to his previous time at Austin Peay, Midlick’s first full-time coaching position came at Tennessee State, where served as an assistant for four seasons. Midlick wore many hats during his time with the Tigers, coaching both posts and forwards, in addition to scouting, recruiting, scheduling and admission and eligibility tracking duties.
Midlick began his career in the high school ranks, coaching boys and girls at various points in his prep career in Mississippi. He led Indianola Academy to a district 1-AA championship and Washington School to its first winning season in more than a decade during his nine seasons in the Mississippi prep ranks.
In addition to his exemplary high school coaching career in Mississippi, Midlick was a highly successful physical therapist. He left that to pursue his college coaching dreams on a volunteer basis at Austin Peay, a move that has paid off as his career has unfolded.
As a player, Midlick was three-year letter winner under Ed Murphy from 1988-91. The Rebels played in the NIT in 1989 – with Midlick leading the team in free-throw percentage and three-point field goal percentage – and were SEC Tournament finalists in 1990.
Midlick is married to the former Leslie Biddle; the couple has two sons, David (18) and Will (15).DI Head Coach Midlick