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FSU promotes Wyckoff to head coach

Brooke Wyckoff isn’t going anywhere. The Florida State alum and longtime assistant is officially taking over as the Seminoles’ head coach.

A member of the coaching staff at FSU since 2011 and the interim head coach in the 2020-21 season, Wyckoff was officially promoted on Tuesday afternoon.

“Brooke Wyckoff is an excellent choice to lead the women’s basketball program,” FSU President Richard McCullough said. “She’s a highly sought-after coach, and we’re fortunate to keep her in the FSU family. Not only has she proven to be a capable leader with a track record of success, she is an amazing role model for our student-athletes.”

In her year as interim coach, the West Chester, Ohio, native led the Seminoles to the 2021 NCAA Tournament and a fourth-place finish in the ACC despite being picked eighth in the conference preseason poll. Since the league expanded to 15 teams in 2014-15, Wyckoff’s 2020-21 Seminoles were the first team to be picked as low as eighth and earn a Top 4 seed in the ACC Tournament

“Brooke has the qualities that make a successful head coach and I am very excited about the future of our program,” FSU athletics director Michael Alford. “She has been a very important member of our staff over this historic period, which established our basketball program as a perennial NCAA Tournament team and ACC title contender. 

“She brings great energy and enthusiasm to the position.  She is excellent at building relationships with her players.  It is a great day for our women’s basketball program.”

Wyckoff played on Semrau’s first team at FSU in 1997-98, was a four-year letter winner and led FSU to the 2001 NCAA Tournament. She averaged 14.6 points and 6.6 rebounds per game from her power forward position and was one of the nation’s top defenders. Wyckoff then played in the WNBA for nine seasons as well as Europe before returning to FSU as an assistant in 2011. During the season as interim head coach, Wyckoff guided FSU through 15 schedule changes due to COVID and the Seminoles also stunned No. 3 Louisville in the regular season.

“It is hard to put into words what a humbling honor it is to be the next head coach at Florida State,” said Wyckoff.  “When I stepped onto campus as a student-athlete 25 years ago, Coach Sue (Semrau) took me under her wing and showed me what it means to build something impactful and lasting here at Florida State. 

“It is my great honor to be a part of the legacy of excellence at this university and with a program with a tradition built over the years.  It is truly a full-circle moment for me and I am committed to serving our current and future players, alumni, community and university to the best of my ability every single day.  Go Noles!”

Wyckoff is one of four FSU women’s basketball players whose jersey is retired. She was also inducted into the Florida State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2011.

Her experience and knowledge in coaching post players has produced All-America careers for Cierra Bravard, Natasha Howard, Adut Bulgak and Shakayla Thomas. Being fluent in Spanish, Wyckoff also attracted a strong pipeline of Spaniards in Leticia Romero, Leonor Rodriguez and Maria Conde — all of who have been Olympians in either 2016 or 2020.

Wyckoff has one daughter, Avery, and is married to Jose Ramon Esmoris. She is a founding member of Moms in Coaching, a group of mothers who coach basketball that meet every year at the NCAA Women’s Final Four.

“I’m so proud of Brooke and I know the possibilities for her — sky is the limit for her career,” said Vanessa Fuchs, Wyckoff’s roommate at FSU and also a longtime FSU administrator. “She’s just an exceptional person. I can see in a lot of ways has modeled many of her coaching philosophies and approach after what she’s learned from Coach Sue. But I also think Brooke has done a nice job of developing just in terms of her international connections that she generated throughout her time as a pro player overseas. Helped us tremendously with recruiting. She’s had a tremendous impact on the coaching community, particularly women who have families. And in her Moms in Coaching program that she started, and is a leader of, she has really set herself apart and created some unique strengths and leadership opportunities for herself as a coach. She’s sort of finding her own way to make that special impact similar to what Coach Sue has done in the legacy throughout her own career. So I’m really excited for Brooke and what’s to come.”