Some college hoops fans might only know Matthew Mitchell as the UK women’s basketball head coach and two-time SEC Coach of the Year, but Big Blue Nation also knows him as a Big Blue Madness performer and hype man.
Mitchell has become known for his extravagant and entertaining performances at UK’s annual Big Blue Madness, a kickoff to the start of basketball season, and an event that sells out Rupp Arena year after year.
It seems as though each year he outdoes himself, however, it isn’t easy to come up with those performances.
“It’s getting hard though now trying to figure out every year something to do,” Mitchell said. “So, it’ll be another horrific two and a half minutes or whatever that is while I’m out there. Somehow, someway people enjoy that. I still don’t get it. But we’ll be ready to roll, don’t you worry about that.”
In the past, Mitchell performed dances such as the “Dougie” and “Whip/Nae Nae,” and even Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean.” Here’s a look back at the last three years of his performances:
In his most recent act, Mitchell and many others put together a music video to Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling” to introduce Mitchell onto the court, before he broke out into dance to the trending song and dance challenge “Juju on that Beat.”
Mitchell’s 2015 performance started with a speech to the Cats' fans about how he thought it was time for him to “officially announce his retirement” from his annual dances, all before busting a move to “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae),” beginning with a mean stanky leg.
2014’s performance had the help of Kentucky Sports Radio introducing the idea of Mitchell dancing and singing to Bruno Mars, which is exactly what he did at Big Blue Madness, accompanied by his impressive Bruno Mars ensemble.
Obviously, Mitchell has a past of putting together some entertaining performances, so what does the head coach have in store this year? He wouldn’t reveal many details at media day, but he said he wants fans to know he’s got something planned.
“Well, you’ll see something. Evidently, I haven’t heard anything in the course of the offseason. I keep waiting for one offseason for someone to come up to me and say, 'gosh, I hope I never have to watch you dance at Big Blue Madness again!' But that’s not the narrative,” Mitchell said.
We can’t be quite sure of what to expect from him, but based on previous years, we know it’s bound to be interesting. Tune in Friday evening to find out.