We hope you enjoy K-State Sports Extra. We would like to hear your comments and any story ideas for future emails, so fire them our way. Contact Kelly McHugh, Mark Janssen or K-State Assistant AD for Communications Kenny Lannou.
No Place Like Home
K-State women's basketball coach Jeff Mittie poses with his family in Bramalge Coliseum. Left to right: Logan Mittie, Jordan Mittie, Shanna Mittie, Jeff Mittie and Madison Mittie. (Photo by Scott D. Weaver/K-State Athletics)
April 14, 2014
By Kelly McHugh
Transition, regardless of how it happens in life, can often be tough, and it's not often that everything falls into place perfectly.
However for K-State women's basketball coach Jeff Mittie, the transition from life in Fort Worth, Texas, as head women's basketball coach at TCU to life in Manhattan, Kan., has been, well, a breeze.
A native of Blue Springs, Mo., coming back to the Midwest after 15 years with the Horned Frogs feels more like coming home than anything else.
"It's exciting to be here. One of the things Shanna and I had an interest in with this position was getting back to this area of the country," said Mittie, "and at a fine institution like Kansas State University, we just feel like there are so many great things we can do here. This fits our family very, very well."
While a majority of Mittie's family lives close by in the Kansas City area, his wife, Shanna, grew up in Manhattan's neighboring town, Junction City and graduated from Chapman High School. Not yet in Manhattan, Shanna and the Mittie children - daughters Logan and Madison and son Jordan - are staying in Fort Worth to finish up this school year, but are looking forward to moving to Manhattan this summer. While Logan, a senior at TCU, will finish her education there and Jordan will head to the United States Naval Academy to play football this summer, Shanna said Madison will attend Manhattan High School in the fall.
"My family is all still in the Junction City, Chapman area, and Jeff's family is from the Kansas City area, so it was really exciting to even think about getting back there and being able to be around our parents. My dad's been really sick, so I've been going back and forth between Ft. Worth and Kansas quite a bit. It's all about timing, and the timing was really great."
While it's quite clear the Mitties are excited to be living closer to home, after 15 years away, their families are also excited to have them back in the Midwest.
"I'm not going to have to change colors, I can stay with purple," laughed Jeff's father, Larry Mittie, "but beyond that, I'm very excited. I think it's a great opportunity and they have a great facility out here. I'm looking forward to being a part of it, watching these games and being a part of this family."
It was rare for Jeff's parents to miss a game at TCU, so Larry said you can bet that he will be at every K-State women's basketball game this season.
On his initial response to finding out his brother would be the head coach at K-State, Jeff's brother Mike Mittie said, "Thank God it wasn't KU, that was my reaction, my initial thought."
Everyone laughed and Mike continued, "but it's great to have him only a couple hours away. He's been down in Texas for 15 years, and it's tough to drive nine hours for a game. So it's very exciting to have them close by now."
The purple - the K-State purple, that is - already runs deep in the Mittie family. Shanna's entire family - her parents, brother, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews - still all live in the area and Jeff's sister, Nicole Seib, is married to former K-State tight end Brad Seib (1989-93). Brad was one of football coach Bill Snyder's first recruits from the state of Kansas, and his son, Luke, can be found on the field on game days running out and grabbing the tees.
"He's a big time K-State fan," laughed Shanna about her nephew, Luke, who is ecstatic to have his uncle coaching at his favorite school.
With family an already important value to the Mitties, there's no doubt they are a perfect fit for the K-State way, and Shanna found out just how close knit the K-State family was before ever stepping foot in Manhattan.
"I am so excited about being a part of the K-State family," began Shanna, "and you can definitely tell it's a family. I mean, before we even came up there for our welcome brunch, I had texts from Megan Weber, Sharon Snyder and John Currie's wife. Even Noel Schulz had texted me, and they were on vacation. It was like an overwhelming, big hug. It was just great.
"It probably sounds a little cliché being from where we are in Kansas, but I can tell you I've been all around the world and every time I tell people where I'm from they're like, 'Oh like Dorothy and Toto?' but in all honesty, there's no place like home; just like the movie says."