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Hokies Find Their Coach

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Virginia Tech announced that former JMU stalwart, Kenny Brooks, will be the next head coach of the Hokies women's basketball team.

Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

It did not take long for Virginia Tech Athletics Director, Whit Babcock, to pinpoint a replacement for the women’s basketball head coaching job.  Less than a week after stating that Dennis Wolff would not be returning to coach for the 2016-2017 season, it was announced that James Madison University’s long time women’s basketball head coach, Kenny Brooks, would be filling VT’s vacancy. 

Coach Brooks has amassed quite the horde of accomplishments during his 14 seasons with the Dukes.  Mr. Brooks himself was a basketball student athlete.  He played three seasons on JMU’s men’s basketball squad in the early 1990s.  After graduating in 1992 he worked as an assistant coach for both JMU and VMI.  In 1998 he returned to the Duke’s as an assistant coach for the JMU men’s basketball team.  From there he moved over as an assistant coach for the women’s squad before launching into the head coaching job in the spring of 2003.

While at James Madison the 47-year-old earned an overall record of 337-122 (.734).  Not only does that accomplishment make him the winningest coach in the program’s history, but Coach Brooks also led the Dukes in becoming the third school to ever win 1,000 games in NCAA Women’s Basketball history.  Mr. Brooks has only ever suffered a singular losing record.  In the 2003-2004 season JMU managed a 13-18 record, but bounced back the next season to an 18-11 record and never looked back. Over the last seven years Coach Brooks and the women of JMU have won, at least, 25 games in each season. They have also had 11 straight postseason appearances, including this year.  Coach Brooks has six total NCAA Championship bids and five invitations to the WNIT.

Mr. Brooks’ overall record is impressive, but arguably even more impressive is JMU’s total domination of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA).  In the wake of his leadership JMU has won the CAA three years in a row and subsequently earned three NCAA Championship bids.  Over the last three seasons JMU has only lost three conference games – one per year.  In 14 seasons as the head coach Mr. Brooks has achieved a conference record of 193-56 (.775) – 25 of those losses occurred in his first three years of being the head coach.  Over the last 11 seasons he has only lost 31 games in conference, and never more than five.

Coach Brooks has had success in the post season as well as the regular.  During the 2013-2014 NCAA Championship Tournament the Dukes upset Gonzaga to earn the school’s first tournament victory since 1991.  Two years prior, during the 2011-2012 season, the Dukes met Oklahoma State in the WNIT Championship Game.  JMU fought valiantly, trading the lead with Oklahoma State, before falling, 68-75, and earning the WNIT runner-up.

In what seems to be another stellar hire by Whit Babcock, Coach Brooks brings a winning formula to a women’s program that has been languishing for near a decade. The Hokies have not been to the NCAA Championship Tournament since the 2005-2006 season, and just this season managed to return to the post season after a nine-year drought.  After the hiring of Coach Fuente, the hiring of Kenny Brooks is the second grab, this year, that Virginia Tech has made of a hot mid-major coach. 

Virginia Tech will formally introduce Coach Brooks this Wednesday.

Gobbler Country joins the rest of the Hokie faithful in welcoming Coach Kenny Brooks, and his family, to Virginia Tech!  Go Hokies!