Whitaker Hires Poole as Assistant Coach|
Sept. 1, 2014
LUBBOCK, Texas -- Texas Tech head coach Candi Whitaker announced Monday that Brandi Poole will be the newest assistant coach on her Lady Raider staff.
Poole brings in 13 years of experience at the Division I level, spending the last two seasons helping rebuild Indiana's women's basketball program. She fills the position vacated by Brett Schneider's departure nearly a month ago.
"So excited that Brandi Poole is going to be on our staff," Whitaker said. "When I spoke to colleagues around the country, there was nothing but positive, awesome remarks about who she is as a coach, as a recruiter, and most importantly who she is as a person.
"We feel very blessed to bring someone of her caliber to our staff. She makes us stronger on every level. I'm excited to work with her and let her have her input and her fingerprint on the program."
Poole, a native of Clarksville, Tenn., comes to West Texas after two seasons at Indiana and 11 seasons as an assistant coach at Bowling Green -- working alongside Curt Miller for all 13 years. Poole also served as recruiting coordinator for the Hoosiers.
"I'm very grateful and very excited to be here," Poole said. "I got a call from Candi a couple of weeks ago and after a few conversations I knew that she was somebody that I would be honored to work for."
In her second season in Bloomington, Poole helped lead Indiana to tying the school record for wins with a 21-13 mark in 2013-14. The Hoosiers made a postseason appearance for the first time in five years and played into the quarterfinals of the Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT).
The 2013-14 Hoosiers began the year with the best start in school history with a 14-0 mark that led to its highest-ever national ranking at No. 22 in the AP Top 25 Poll.
As recruiting coordinator, Poole helped Miller assemble a top 30 class heading into 2013-14. That first true recruiting class at Indiana did not disappoint in her second season. The group of six scholarship freshmen scored more points (1,466) than any other freshman class in the Big Ten and ranked in the top five nationally in point production among freshman classes. Indiana's freshmen accounted for 61.9 percent of IU's point production in 2013-14.
"I've already spent time on the phone with coaches there and definitely looking to get some kids here from the Midwest," Poole said. "That's definitely my comfort zone and where I know a lot of people and have grown up in this profession. But I'm also looking forward to getting down into Texas and meeting all the coaches and getting kids from the state here as well."
In 2012-13, Poole helped guide Indiana to its most wins in three years, nearly doubling the program's win total from the year prior to the new coaching staff's arrival.
Prior to Indiana, Poole helped lead Bowling Green to at least a Mid-American Conference (MAC) division title in each of her last eight seasons, where BGSU made postseason appearances in each of those years, including five NCAA Tournament appearances. Under her watch, BGSU collected five MAC Tournament championships, won 21-or-more games in the last nine seasons and compiled 28-or-more victories in a single season four times.
In 2006-07, BGSU had the finest year in MAC women's basketball history, winning 31 games. The Falcons topped Oklahoma State and Vanderbilt in the NCAA Tournament to become the first ever MAC women's team to advance to the Sweet 16.
During her time at Bowling Green, Poole played a role in developing four players who earned All-America honors in Lauren Prochaska (2010, 2011), Tracy Pontius (2009), Kate Achter (2008) and Ali Mann (2006, 2007). Prochaska was a two-time MAC Player of the Year, while Achter and Mann also earned the conference's top playing honor in their careers.
Poole spent the 2000-01 season as an assistant at West Virginia. Before her time at WVU, she served as the director of basketball operations for the Portland Fire of the WNBA. She also was an assistant at West Virginia Wesleyan College. Poole worked briefly with the Colorado Xplosion of the now-defunct ABL, where she was a season ticket account executive and the team's director of group sales.
Poole is a 1997 graduate of the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where she earned a degree in mathematics. Poole received her degree in business administration from West Virginia Wesleyan in 2000. As a player at the University of the South, Poole was a three-time all-conference honoree and a three-year co-captain. She still ranks among the school's top 10 in career points and rebounds.