Tallahassee, Fla. -- She started by helping spark the rise of the Florida State women’s basketball program as a standout player on the court from 1997 to 2001. Ten years later, Brooke Wyckoff is set to return to Tallahassee in a brand new role on the bench.
FSU women’s basketball coach Sue Semrau announced Tuesday that Wyckoff -- one of the best players in school history -- has been hired as an assistant coach. She replaces Cori Close, who accepted the women’s basketball head coaching job at UCLA in April.
"Brooke has been associated with every aspect of women's basketball,” said Semrau, who is currently serving as an assistant coach with the USA Basketball U19 World Championship Team. “As a player she excelled at every level from college to USA Basketball to the WNBA. As a coach, she has proven to be a strong teacher and has a passion for the defensive end of the floor. Brooke Wyckoff is a rising star in the coaching world."
A native of West Chester, Ohio, the talented forward was one of the top high school players in the country before signing a National Letter of Intent with FSU in 1997 in what was Semrau’s first season in Tallahassee.
In her rookie year, Wyckoff made an immediate impact as she set a single-season record at the time with 80 blocks on her way to earning ACC All-Freshman Team honors. Conference accolades continued to roll in during her next three years with a pair of All-ACC Third Team accolades (1999 and 2000) and finally an All-ACC First Team selection as a senior in 2001.
Wyckoff’s 1,350 career points is still the 10th-most in school history and her 804 rebounds are sixth. She ranks No. 2 at FSU in career blocks with 209.
Perhaps most importantly, Wyckoff was the cornerstone of the Seminoles’ first winning season in nine years as the team posted a 19-12 record in 2001 and finished fourth in the ACC. That season culminated in the school’s first trip to the NCAA Tournament in 10 years and All-America honors for Wyckoff, which was the first national accolade for an FSU women’s basketball player since 1993.
She also played with the USA Women’s Basketball Select Team for three consecutive summers.
“I am thrilled to be back with the Florida State University women's basketball program,” Wyckoff said. “My experience here as a player was the springboard for so many wonderful opportunities over the last 10 years and it is an honor to come full circle and take the next step in my basketball career; this time as a coach. I am joining a spectacular group of student-athletes, coaches and administrators that have worked tirelessly to make FSU a top program and I am excited to work alongside them in their quest for a national championship.”
Following her senior year, Wyckoff was selected by the Orlando Miracle in the second round of the WNBA Draft. She spent two seasons in Orlando before the team moved to Connecticut where she played another three seasons with the Sun.
She was then selected by the Chicago Sky in the 2006 WNBA Expansion draft and played for that franchise until 2009.
"I always knew she was going to be a good teacher some day,” Connecticut Sun coach Mike Thibault said. “She's smart. She is a very upbeat person, which will serve her well out on the recruiting trail. Obviously being an alumnus there, she has a passion about the program. She was one of the best teammates we've ever had here."
Since concluding her professional basketball career, Wyckoff has served as an assistant girl’s basketball coach at Lakota East High School in Cincinnati, Ohio.
In addition to boasting the honor of being just one of four former ’Noles to have their jerseys retired, Wyckoff was also an outstanding performer in the classroom. She is the only Seminole to ever earn four All-ACC Academic Women’s Basketball Team honors as well as four nods to the ACC Academic Honor Roll.
In 2001 she earned an ACC Postgraduate scholarship and last year was named to the ACC Legends Class of 2010.
Upon her return to Tallahassee, Wyckoff will join a coaching staff that has directed a program to unprecedented new heights. The 2010-11 season marked FSU’s school-record seventh consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament; a streak that is the longest of any Division I men’s or women’s basketball program in the state of Florida.
"Brooke Wyckoff was a tremendous asset to the Sky during her time in Chicago,” Chicago Sky owner Michael Alter said. “She played with tremendous passion and energy. She had fun. She was a smart player and a great leader on and off the court. These are qualities that allowed her to flourish as a player, and we expect them to propel her to great heights as a coach.
“We wish her nothing but success."