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National search leads to familiar face

Coach Michael Brooks

EDUCATION: BA, communications, theater, Western State College (Colorado); M.Ed, Central Methodist University (Missouri)

BRADLEY CAREER: director of women’s basketball operations, 2009–10; assistant coach, 2011–12

OTHER COLLEGE COACHING: assistant football, Quincy University, 2005; assistant football, Central Methodist, 2006; assistant women’s basketball, Central Methodist, 2006–07 and 2008–09; co-head coach, Central Methodist, 2010–11

HIGH SCHOOL COACHING: boys’ and girls’ track, Glasgow (Missouri), 2006–08; assistant coach, boys’ and girls’ basketball, Glasgow

HOMETOWN: Omaha, Neb.

FAMILY: Wife ANDI SUTHERLAND BROOKS, MA ’05, assistant Bradley women’s coach and director of women’s basketball operations, 2003–05; one daughter

As an assistant coach and director of operations, Michael Brooks was part of Bradley’s first two postseason tournament appearances in women’s basketball. Next season, he gets a chance for a third appearance, but this time he will lead the Braves. He celebrated his 31st birthday July 6 by being named the eighth head coach in the program’s 37-year history. 

“He’s been a part of two of the most successful seasons in Bradley women’s basketball history,” said Dr. Michael Cross, director of athletics. “I’m looking forward to working with him to build upon our recent success to even greater heights.”

Brooks was an assistant at Bradley last season when the team finished 18-16 and had its first postseason home victory in the Women’s Basketball Invitational. He served as director of operations in the 2009–10 season when the team finished 17-14, was third in the Missouri Valley Conference, and made its first postseason appearance. In between, he was co-head coach of women’s basketball at Central Methodist University. He also was its assistant women’s coach in the 2006–07 and 2008–09 seasons. 

The new coach played football and was on the track team at Western State College after transferring from the University of Nebraska, Omaha.

“Sincere relationships and doing things the right way are what set us apart,” said Brooks, who replaces Paula Buscher, who served as head coach for 12 years. “We will have a team with an unwavering work ethic and a commitment to Bradley’s ideals. Recruiting is a major focus … getting everybody on the same page. The foundation has been laid. Now, we just have to do some fine detailing to get where we want to go.” 

“Sincere relationships and doing things the right way
are what set us apart.”

Coach Michael Brooks

“I’ve had him as a coach, and I think we know what to expect,” said KATIE YOHN ’13, one of nine players scheduled to return this season. “We’re excited to see what he can do for our program.” 

“He’s someone who’s completely passionate about the game,” said KELLY FRINGS ’14. “I’ve got a lot of respect for him. I can’t wait to play for him and put on the jersey again for Bradley.” 

– Bob Grimson ’81

Stay up to date on what's happening with Brooks' team by viewing the 2012–13 Bradley women's basketball schedule here.