MaChelle Joseph enters her ninth year as head coach of the Georgia Tech women’s basketball program in 2011-12. A proven winner as both a player and assistant coach, she brought with her the vision of establishing the Georgia Tech women’s basketball program as a contender in both the Atlantic Coach Conference and the national spotlight since her appointment on May 19, 2003.

    A 2010 inductee in the Purdue Intercollegiate Hall of Fame, Joseph has guided the women’s team to the program’s first five straight 20-win seasons and has compiled a 153-97 record in her eight seasons at the helm. She has also led the team to five straight NCAA Tournament appearances.

    The 2010-11 season saw the Yellow Jackets top a number of school records. Georgia Tech won a program-best 24 games and Joseph led her squad to a school-record 13-game winning streak, including a 71-70 win over No. 8 North Carolina in Atlanta in which the Jackets rallied from down seven with 1:06 to play. Tech again returned to the NCAA Tournament, earning a No. 5 seed, the school’s highest ever. The Jackets defeated Bowling Green in the first round, only the third NCAA Tournament win ever, before falling to Ohio State in a second round game played in Columbus.

    Joseph earned her 150th career victory on Feb. 24 with a 64-57 win at No. 13 North Carolina, marking the first time Georgia Tech swept the Tar Heels since the 1990-91 season, and becoming the fastest coach in school history to win 150 games.

    Following the season, Alex Montgomery was selected No. 10 overall by the New York Liberty in the 2011 WNBA Draft, becoming Tech’s highest drafted player and first first round draft pick. Montgomery is the fifth Yellow Jacket to be selected in the WNBA draft. During her eight seasons on the Flats, Joseph has coached 18 All-ACC honorees, three ACC All-Freshman team members, five ACC All-Defensive team selections, three ACC All-Academic team members and the 2010 ACC Sixth Player of the Year.

    Following two years as an assistant coach under Agnus Berenato, during which the Yellow Jackets averaged 18 wins a season, Joseph was named the fifth head coach in the history of the Georgia Tech program by former Institute President Dr. G. Wayne Clough and then-Director of Athletics Dave Braine.

    “I felt like I won the lottery when I took this job,” said Joseph. “This is one of the best jobs in the country and there is no reason why we can’t challenge for an ACC and national championship in the years to come. We have all of the resources, the support of our administration and everything that it takes to be a top-10 program, and that is my goal for Georgia Tech.”

    Braine said that rewarding Joseph with her first head coaching position was a logical choice.

    “MaChelle has proven herself to be an outstanding coach and recruiter in her 11 years as an assistant coach, and in particular in her two years at Georgia Tech,” Braine said at the time of her promotion.

    Tech’s current athletic director, Dan Radakovich, continues to show support in Joseph’s vision and has recently awarded her with a contract extension that will keep her at Georgia Tech through the 2014-15 season.

    “MaChelle has certainly ratcheted up the program in a number of ways,” Radakovich said. “She and her staff have worked extremely hard in recruiting, coaching and in gaining awareness in the city of Atlanta. This is definitely a program on the rise.”

    Prior to her hiring as an assistant before the 2001-02 season, the Yellow Jackets hadn’t won 20 games in the same season since the 1992 WNIT Championship season, and hadn’t finished at .500 or above in conference play since 1993.

    In her two years as Tech’s top assistant coach, Joseph applied her skills as an instructor and recruiter along with her all-star playing credentials to help the program enjoy two of the best seasons in its history.

    Joseph’s skill as a recruiter translated into immediate results at Georgia Tech, where she assembled the then highest-rated freshman class in school history. Tech’s 2002 recruiting class, which included McDonald’s and WBCA prep All-American Kasha Terry, as well as Ashley Guerrant, Megan Harpring, April Johnson, Jessica Williams and Mallorie Winn, was rated among the top-15 in the nation by a number of recruiting services and media outlets, including No. 11 by the All-Star Girls Report as the second-highest in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

    Even more impressive was Joseph’s first recruiting class as the head coach at the Institute, as the 2004-05 freshman class was ranked the No. 5 recruiting class in the nation by the All Star Girls Report in USA Today in November, 2003. Included in that group were high school All-Americans Jill Ingram, Daphne Mitchell and Janie Mitchell, with Giuliett Ancora, Shantrell Moss and Chioma Nnamaka rounding out her first recruiting class.

    Joseph acquired a program that she helped take to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in a decade and just the second time in school history when she was named the Yellow Jackets’ head coach prior to the 2003-04 season. During her first season, Joseph tied the records for most overall and conference victories by a first-year head coach, tying her predecessor, Berenato, who left the Flats to become head coach at Pittsburgh after 15 seasons in the same post at Georgia Tech.

    In 2005, Joseph guided a young Yellow Jacket team to a 13-14 record, with the top victory of the season coming against Georgia Tech’s arch rival, Georgia, by a score of 55-49 at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. It marked the first time since the 1998-99 season that the Yellow Jackets had defeated a team ranked in the top-10, and the highest ranked team Tech had recorded a victory against since the 1991-92 season, as the Bulldogs were ranked sixth in the nation entering the contest.

    Joseph’s third season at the helm of the program proved to be her most successful, both on and off the court. While the Jackets again finished just one game shy of postseason qualification, Georgia Tech earned its first ACC Tournament victory under Joseph and came within five points of recording a quarterfinal victory in the conference tournament against the eventual national champion Maryland. Joseph had two players earn their degrees the following May, and another to be selected in the WNBA draft.

    In her fourth year at Tech, Joseph again took the program to new heights. She coached the Jackets to a 21-12 finish, the best in school history, and the program’s first NCAA Tournament win, a 55-54 thriller over DePaul. The Jackets also earned their first-ever winning record in ACC play, including wins over defending national champions and fourth-ranked Maryland and Sweet 16 participant NC State. Tech’s 9-5 ACC record was seven wins better than the previous season and was the second-best turnaround in conference history.

    Once again, Joseph proved to be one of the best recruiting coaches in the nation when she brought in the eighth-ranked recruiting class, featuring forwards Alex Montgomery and Iasia Hemingway, guards Deja Foster, Shaday Woolcock and Simone Trice. Montgomery became the highest-ranked recruit to ever sign a letter of intent when the 15th-ranked player chose Tech during the early signing period.

    The 2007-08 campaign was another successful season with Joseph at the helm. The Jackets finished with a 22-10 record, registering the most wins in program history since joining the ACC before the 1979-80 season. Tech also made its second straight NCAA Tournament appearance, another first for the Yellow Jacket program. The Jackets’ play earned them a national ranking of No. 23 in both the AP and ESPN/Coaches Polls during the week Jan.21, 2008, the team’s first national ranking in 14 years. Two Jackets earmed All-ACC honors and senior Chioma Nnamaka became the highest-ever Yellow Jacket taken in the WNBA draft, when she was selected 21st overall.

    In her sixth season, Joseph once again led her team to a 22-10 record and led it to the program’s third straight NCAA Tournament appearance despite listing 10 freshman and sophomores on the roster. Tech found itself in the national rankings for five consecutive weeks during the season. The team registered wins over three ranked opponents during the regular season, including a 66-62 win over No. 2/3 North Carolina, the highest ranked opponent ever defeated by a Yellow Jacket team. The Jackets also earned the program’s second NCAA Tournament victory when they defeated Iowa in the first round of the tournament, 76-62.

    Joseph helped her 2009-10 team to a record-setting season in her seventh on the Flats. She led her squad to a 23-10 mark, tying the most wins in program history and most since joining the ACC prior to the 1979-80 season. Her team reached its fourth straight NCAA Tournament. The year was marked by the development of Brigitte Ardossi, who registered one of the best senior seasons in program history. She earned All-ACC second team honors and become just the fifth Yellow Jacket to be drafted when the Atlanta Dream selected her in the second round. Montgomery earned her second straight All-ACC third team nod and was selected the ACC Sixth Player of the Year.

    The 2010-11 season saw the Yellow Jackets top a number of school records. Georgia Tech won a program-best 24 games and Joseph led her squad to a school-record 13-game winning streak, including a 71-70 win over No. 8 North Carolina in Atlanta in which the Jackets rallied from down seven with 1:06 to play. Tech again returned to the NCAA Tournament, earning a No. 5 seed, the school’s highest ever. The Jackets defeated Bowling Green in the first round, only the third NCAA Tournament win ever, before falling to Ohio State in a second round game played in Columbus.

    Montgomery earned Second Team All-ACC and ACC All-Defensive accolades, while freshman Tyaunna Marshall was named Third Team All-ACC, ACC All-Freshman Team and Third Team Freshman All-America by the Full Court Press. Montgomery was the first ACC player to be drafted in the 2011 WNBA Draft when she was chosen No. 10 overall by the New York Liberty, becoming Tech’s highest drafted player and first first round selection.

    Joseph arrived on the Flats after serving as an assistant coach and the recruiting coordinator on Joe Ciampi’s staff at Auburn from 1997-2001. She helped guide the Tigers to a combined 97-50 record in five seasons and the second round of the NCAA Tournament on three occasions. Each of the last four recruiting classes she helped attract to Auburn were ranked in the top-10 nationally by the All Star Girls Report, including the Tigers’ 2001 class that was ranked the nation’s second-best.

    Before joining the Auburn staff, Joseph coached at her alma mater, Purdue, from 1994-96 under Lin Dunn and helped the Boilermakers post a sterling 73-24 (.753) record in three seasons. Purdue advanced to the Final Four in 1994 and followed that performance with a trip to the NCAA Elite Eight in 1995. Joseph also served one year (1993) as an assistant at Illinois.

    Overall, Joseph’s career as an assistant coach spanned 11 years in three of the nation’s top women’s basketball conferences, with successful stops at Auburn of the Southeastern Conference as well as Purdue and Illinois of the Big Ten preceding her Atlantic Coast Conference stint. In 15 seasons as a collegiate player and assistant coach, Joseph was a part of programs that produced winning records in every year but one, and reached the NCAA Tournament 11 times.

    A four-year starter for the Boilermakers from 1989-1992, Joseph is one of the most decorated players in Purdue and Big Ten Conference history as she garnered numerous conference and national accolades. After earning Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors as well as second-team all-conference accolades in 1989, Joseph was a first-team all-Big Ten selection in 1990, 1991 and 1992 and was named the Big Ten Player of the Year as a senior. She also earned Kodak All-America honors in 1992, when she was tabbed the Women’s Basketball News’ College Player of the Year.

    She finished her career first on the Big Ten all-time scoring list and was the only player in conference history to rank in the top-10 in both points and assists. Joseph helped the Boilermakers reach the NCAA Tournament all four years, including the school’s first appearance in 1989 and a pair of trips to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 1990 and 1992. Joseph was inducted in to the Purdue Intercollegiate Hall of Fame on Sept. 24, 2010.

    A native of Auburn, Ind., Joseph graduated from Purdue in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in movement and sports science.