ATLANTA (March 26, 2018) –Bart Brooks of Belmont University is the 2018 Spalding Maggie Dixon NCAA Division I Rookie Coach of the Year, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association announced today.
The award honors a WBCA member NCAA Division I head coach who has led their team to a successful season during their first year on the sideline. It is named in honor of the late Maggie Dixon, who in her inaugural season as the Army head coach, led the Black Knights to the 2006 Patriot League title and their first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship tournament. Dixon, 29, died of an undiagnosed heart condition just weeks after on April 6, 2006.
“Success in your first year as a head coach is generally a difficult feat. When a new head coach demonstrates a mastery of managing all aspects of a program, as well as producing success in competition, our coaching family pays respectful attention. The WBCA is proud to announce Bart Brooks as the winner of the 2018 Spalding Maggie Dixon DI Rookie Coach of the Year award,” said WBCA Executive Director Danielle Donehew. “Bart led his team to a remarkable season. We celebrate his effort and effectiveness on the basketball court as a teacher and equally applaud the extensive role he plays in impacting the lives of his student-athletes.”
In his first season as a head coach, Brooks led the Bruins to the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) regular-season and tournament titles and finished with an overall record of 31-4. This was Belmont’s third consecutive OVC Tournament title and its second-straight undefeated run through the OVC regular season. The Bruins won 22-straight games going into the NCAA Tournament and received the program’s first-ever appearance in the USA TODAY Sports NCAA Division I Top 25 Coaches’ Poll.
Brooks came to Belmont after spending 11 seasons as an assistant coach under Doug Bruno at DePaul University.
“Spalding is very honored to be affiliated with the Spalding Maggie Dixon Rookie Coach of the Year Award,” said John Salay, director at Spalding. “Coach Brooks’ stellar inaugural season embodies what the award is about. We would like to recognize the hard work, the passion, and the results he achieved this year that have rightly earned him the Spalding Maggie Dixon Rookie Coach of the Year award.”
The first Spalding Maggie Dixon NCAA Division I Rookie Coach of the Year award was presented in 2007, the year following Dixon’s death. Visit www.wbca.org/recognize/to see a list of past recipients.
A Division of Russell Brands, LLC, Spalding is the largest basketball equipment supplier in the world, and America's first baseball company. Spalding is the official basketball of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), the official backboard of the NBA and NCAA, and the official baseball of the Little League World Series. In addition to being a leading producer and marketer of basketballs, footballs, volleyballs and soccer balls, Spalding produces softballs under the Dudley brand. The SPALDING® and DUDLEY® trademarks are owned by Russell Brands, LLC. For more information, visit www.spalding.com.
About the WBCA
Founded in 1981, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association is the professional association for coaches of women's and girls' basketball at all levels of competition. The WBCA offers educational resources that coaches need to help make themselves better leaders, teachers and mentors to their players; provides opportunities for coaches to connect with peers in the profession; serves as the unifying voice of a diverse community of coaches to the organizations that control the game; and celebrates those coaches, players and other individuals who excel each year and contribute to the advancement of the sport. Visit www.WBCA.org for more details about the Association.