Virginia Tech Hires JMU’s Kenny Brooks to Coach Women’s Basketball

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Kenny Brooks will head up a Virginia Tech women's basketball program desperately in need of a resurrection.
Kenny Brooks will head up a Virginia Tech women’s basketball program desperately in need of a resurrection.

BLACKSBURG – Virginia Tech President Dr. Timothy D. Sands, Director of Athletics Whit Babcock and the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors announced Monday that Kenny Brooks has formally accepted an offer to become Virginia Tech’s head women’s coach. Brooks will be officially introduced at an 11 a.m. press conference on Wednesday.

“Today is an exciting day for our women’s basketball program, and I’d ask Hokie Nation to join us in welcoming Kenny, his wife Chrissy, and children, Kendyl, Chloe, Gabby and Nicholas to Blacksburg,” Babcock said. “I’ve admired the consistency and high level of success of his program at James Madison for many years and have a deep appreciation for his ability to win with class and integrity, as well as his commitment to helping his student-athletes develop on and off the court.”

The 47-year-old Brooks joins the Hokies after an impressive 14-season stint as head coach at James Madison University where he compiled a record of 337-122 (.756), making him the winningest coach in that school’s history. Brooks guided the Dukes to 11 consecutive postseason appearances, including six NCAA bids and five trips to the WNIT. Under his direction this past season, JMU compiled a 27-6 record, including a 17-1 mark in conference play, as the Dukes made a third straight trip to the NCAA tournament.

“I’m confident that Kenny’s competitive spirit will help elevate our program, while upholding the values we live and embrace at Virginia Tech,” Babcock continued. “As a lifelong Virginian, Kenny possesses an appreciation for the passion of Virginia Tech fans, and is highly-respected in the basketball community. In our opinion, he’s clearly the right individual to lead our women’s basketball program into the future. He’s the ideal fit.”

Over the past 11 seasons at JMU, Brooks’ squads have never won fewer than 24 games, averaging 26.3 wins per year over that span. The Dukes have won the past three Colonial Athletic Association championships under Brooks’ tutelage and have captured five conference titles over the past seven seasons. He was named CAA Coach of the Year for a fourth time in 2015-16, while his student-athletes also garnered CAA Player and Rookie of the Year honors.

“I’m honored and excited to begin this challenge at Virginia Tech,” Brooks said. “I appreciate my time at JMU and am indebted to the administration there for an amazing 14-year run. Virginia truly is home for our family, and we’re thrilled to officially join Hokie Nation. There is a real sense of momentum surrounding Virginia Tech Athletics. We can’t wait to meet all of our returning student-athletes and get to work.”

Brooks registered winning campaigns in 13 of his 14 seasons in Harrisonburg, ascending to No. 23 in the AP Top 25 and No. 21 in the USA Today Coaches Poll in 2014-15 as his squad tied a school record with 29 victories. In 2013-14, he led the Dukes to their first NCAA Tournament victory since 1991 when his 11th-seeded Dukes knocked off sixth-seeded Gonzaga 72-63 in the first round. In 2007, the Dukes earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, marking only the second time a CAA team had received an at-large berth.

Under Brooks, James Madison has tallied six CAA Players of the Year, three Rookies of the Year and two Defensive Players of the Year. The Dukes have also earned 31 All-CAA selections, 11 Defensive team and 10 All-Rookie team selections during his tenure.

The Waynesboro, Virginia, native, has coached two WNBA Draft picks, including first-round pick Tamera Young and most recently (April 2015) third-round selection Lauren Okafor, in addition to three other players who have signed professional contracts.

A 1992 graduate of James Madison, he played three seasons under legendary coach Lefty Driesell and made two NIT appearances while earning a degree in business management. He began his coaching career as a part-time assistant for the 1993-94 JMU men’s squad that won the CAA Tournament and advanced to the NCAA tournament.

After four seasons as an assistant for the men’s program at VMI (1994-98), he moved back to his alma mater as a men’s assistant from 1998-2002. He was named interim women’s head coach on Dec. 6, 2002 before taking over those duties on a full-time basis on March 21, 2003.

For updates on Virginia Tech women’s basketball, follow the Hokies on Twitter at @VT_WBBall

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11 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Classy move by JMU in that they have already said they will release his daughter, who signed with JMU, if she chooses to follow him to VT.

  2. Great hire for the WBB program! They’ve suffered for years, ever since Bonnie Henrickson left.

    And having a skilled coach with his resume in the house is a good insurance policy in case Buzz decides to fly the coop at an inopportune time when it could be really tough to hire a big name replacement. Who knows – Kenny could wind up coaching the fellas in a year or two 🙂

  3. Welcome Coach Brooks! Come see us down in 757 and recruit/coach some of our young ladies to be winners at Virginia Tech.

    Go Hokies!

  4. When you have the Right AD , with the Right attitude on what VT needs, you get these top notch hires. Being a season ticket holder for years for the WBB , I’m very pleased to say the least.

  5. This is a great hire. I have followed coach Brooks career at JMU ever since he was hired and am thrilled that he is Tech’s new WBB coach. He is a great coach and is an even better person. This is another excellent hire by Whit.

  6. He has been approached by many over the past 8 years and kudos to Whit for being able to get him away from his and his wife’s alma mater. Family commitment for him is high. Has three daughters in school (one graduating HS and going on scholly to JMU), his parents and in-laws, relatives are all around H’burg.

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