Arlene Mitchell enters her sixth season as the assistant coach of the North Carolina A&T volleyball team. Mitchell has helped serve as a stabilizing force for the program, which has been led by three different head coaches in the last six years. She was also a standout athlete for the Aggies as a volleyball player.
Mitchell began her coaching career in 2008, under Lyndsay Schmiedel. After only one season as an assistant volleyball coach in 2008, Mitchell took on the role of interim head volleyball coach. As a result, Mitchell became a one-woman shop. She took on the responsibilities of scheduling matches, working on administrative matters and conducting involuntary workouts.
Mitchell retained her assistant coach position under Toni Conway for the 2009 and 2010 seasons, before becoming the assistant to Hal Clifton prior to the 2011 season. Mitchell has been a valuable part of the program in the last five years, helping with recruiting and player development. In addition to her coaching responsibilities, Mitchell plays a huge role in scouting opponents, serving as a liaison between the athletic support staff and the volleyball staff and recruiting talented players to the program.
She also assures players are meeting the academic requirements necessary to remain eligible to compete. In 2011 alone, the A&T volleyball program had five student-athletes named to the MEAC All-Academic Team. Mitchell gained experience in conducting and planning practices when she coached the 16-and-under Lady Ravens, a Junior Olympic travel volleyball team in Greensboro, N.C. Mitchell organized and executed two practices per week, scheduled tournaments and taught various skills to the players.
Before entering the coaching profession, Mitchell crafted one of the best careers in the history of the North Carolina A&T volleyball program from 2003-06. She was a four-time All-MEAC selection and helped lead the Aggies to a MEAC Volleyball Championship Tournament final appearance in 2005. The Aggies posted a 31-9 conference record and won 15 or more matches in three of her four seasons. After her first year at A&T, she received Freshman Female Athlete of the Year honors from the athletics department. The booster club for A&T Athletics at the time honored her with their annual Aggie Club Award, given to the player who exhibits excellence on and off the playing surface.
During her career, she also received the North Carolina A&T Sports Hall of Fame and the A&T Senior Female Athlete of the Year awards. Mitchell ended her career as the Aggies all-time career leader in kills (1,674), attack attempts (4,487), service aces (277) and games played (430). She also holds the single-season record for attack attempts (1,275). She is second in the single-season records for kills (483-2005) and service aces (77-2005). She was fourth in the nation in aces per game with 0.77 per game in 2005 as a junior. She owns the single-match records for kills (33) and total attempts (67).
She is the only player in school history to record 1,000 kills and digs in a career, and she owns the conference record for kills per game. In each of her four years as a player, she ranked in the top 15 nationally for service aces. Mitchell did more than just serve Aggie Athletics on the court. Mitchell served as vice president of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee during the 2005-06 school year. In 2006-07, she became the organization's president.
Mitchell graduated from A&T in 2007 with a B.S., in sports science/fitness management.