Mitch Henderson ’98 will be the next men’s basketball head coach at Princeton, taking over a history-rich program that recently shared the Ivy League title under the direction of Sydney Johnson ’97, one of Henderson’s former teammates.
Henderson, who has been an assistant to former Tiger coach Bill Carmody at Northwestern University since 2000, will be introduced on campus April 21.
“Mitch has developed and polished his craft at Northwestern, a Big Ten university that is similar in philosophy with its commitment to the student-athlete – with emphasis on both sides of that hyphen,” said Gary Walters ’67, the director of athletics, in a press release.
Henderson said in the release that he’s “never stopped being a fan” of Princeton basketball. Like many alumni, he was watching the Princeton-Harvard Ivy playoff game when Douglas Davis ’12 hit a buzzer-beating jump shot to send the Tigers to the NCAA Tournament. “When Doug’s shot went through the net, I jumped off my couch, I was so happy,” Henderson said. “I was excited for Sydney and his staff, and for the team. I feel like I know our guys already.”
The 2010-11 Tigers were 25-7, posting the program’s best record since 1997-98, when Henderson was a senior captain of a team that won a school-record 27 games and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament. On April 5, Johnson announced he was leaving Princeton to become the head coach at Fairfield University in Connecticut.
Henderson, a four-year starter as an undergraduate, has spent his entire coaching career at Northwestern, helping the Wildcats reach the NIT in each of the last three seasons. He is the fourth consecutive alumnus to head the Princeton program, following Johnson, Joe Scott ’87, and John Thompson III ’88.