Brandi Poole helped turn Indiana women’s basketball from a six-win program to a 21-win program in two years.
And she hopes to do the same thing at Texas Tech. Lady Raiders coach Candi Whitaker announced Monday that Poole is the newest assistant coach on her staff.
“Indiana and Texas Tech are both rebuilding programs with great support from their administrations,” Poole said. “We turned Indiana around through recruiting and hard work and getting to know people.
“Candi has done a great job of that in her first year, and I’m excited to jump on board and continue that. The Tech program is moving in the right direction and has a great tradition thanks to what Coach (Marsha) Sharp did. It’s great to see and I’m excited to be on board.”
Poole fills the position vacated by Brett Schneider’s departure nearly a month ago.
Poole spent all 13 years coaching under her mentor, Curt Miller, who resigned on July 24. Once Teri Moren was hired in his place, Poole wasn’t retained.
“It was a bit stressful because it wasn’t the best time of year to hire coaches,” Poole said. “It was sad to see (Miller) have to take some time away. But I got a call from Coach Whitaker a few weeks ago, and we had a great conversation. After one phone call, I knew she was the type of person I wanted to work for.”
Filling the position wasn’t something Whitaker was going to rush into. Instead, she took her time, calling people all over the country to get their take on Poole. And their comments backed up her initial reaction to bring Poole to Lubbock.
“Everyone said such great things to say about her and that was really important to me,” Whitaker said. “I was impressed with how hard she works, how she builds relationships and how she’s represented each program she’s been with on and off the court.”
After Poole came down to Lubbock for her interview, it was apparent that she was a good fit, not only professionally but personally as well.
“I talked with Candi and the rest of the staff and heard her vision,” Poole said. “They’re great people that do things the right way and recruit high character kids. They want to bring back the tradition of Lady Raider basketball.”
Even though Whitaker is pleased with the experience Poole brings as the post position coach, she is excited about the possibilities Poole’s Midwest connections bring to the South Plains.
To Whitaker, Poole’s recruiting success has led to championships at Bowling Green and a quick turnaround at Indiana.
Poole spent 11 years at Bowling Green and helped lead that program to at least a Mid-American Conference (MAC) division title in each of her last eight seasons.
During her time there, Bowling green collected five MAC Tournament championships, won 21 or more games in the last nine seasons and compiled 28 or more victories in a single seasons.
Poole’s first season at Indiana was 2012-13 where she helped the team 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.
As recruiting coordinator, Poole helped assemble a top-30 class heading into the 2013-14 season.
Overall, Indiana’s freshmen accounted for 61.9 percent of its point production last season.
“She will continue to recruit in the areas she has relationships in,” Whitaker said. “We’re going to get her caught up in Texas and introduce her to a lot of the coaches here and have the chance to broaden our network in the south.”
Poole said she’s ready to “dive in” with recruiting and get to know the kids in Texas.
More importantly, she’s excited to help turn things around at Texas Tech.
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