Niles’ Career Honors
2016 AVCA Coach of the Year
Brooke Niles’ Coaching Record
|Year||School||Record||Winning Pct.||Post Season|
|2016||Florida State||32-3||.914||National Runners-Up/CCSA Champions|
|2017||Florida State||29-9||.763||Fourth Place finish at NCAA’s/CCSA Champions|
|2018||Florida State||33-7||.825||National Runners-Up/CCSA Champions|
|Record||Winning Pct.||Postseason Appearances|
|Totals||94-19||.832||3 Postseason Appearances|
|Florida State||94-19||.832||3 Postseason Appearances|
Entering her fourth season with the program, head coach Brooke Niles has shaped Florida State beach volleyball into one of the most elite teams in the country, establishing the Seminoles as a national contender every year and a fixture in the AVCA Beach Top-20. In only three seasons with Niles at the helm, the Seminoles have earned two NCAA National Runner-Up titles and secured three consecutive Coastal Collegiate Sports Association (CCSA) conference championships.
Niles has led the Seminoles to 30 AVCA Top-10 wins in her three seasons, and since taking over the program prior to the 2016 season, Florida State has gone undefeated against every East Coast team without a single loss to a CCSA team since joining the conference.
Since establishing the program as a powerhouse in the NCAA beach volleyball community, the Seminoles have seen a number of top performers come through the program to play for Niles. She has led six AVCA All-Americans (Julie Brown and Jace Pardon in 2016, Leigh Andrew and Brooke Kuhlman in 2017, and Vanessa Freire and Tory Paranagua in 2018), one CCSA Pair of the Year (Brown/Pardon, 2016) two CCSA Freshmen of the Year (Nikki Esposito in 2016 and Francesca Goncalves in 2017), and 14 All-CCSA performers (Brown/Pardon in 2016, Paranagua/Pellitteri in 2016, Andrew/Kuhlman in 2017, Freire/Paranagua in 2018, Horton/Luke in 2018).
The team’s academic performance has flourished under Coach Niles, as the team continually records one of the best GPAs across the athletics department every year. Current senior Macy Jerger became the team’s the first two-time CCSA All-Academic Team honoree in 2018, securing the CCSA Scholar-Athlete of the Year award in both 2017 and 2018. Julie Brown, Jace Pardon and Katherine Plessy were all named to the CCSA All-Academic team in 2016. Hailey Luke became the first Seminole to be named to the ACC Academic Honor Roll five times, while Niles has seen 53 ACC Academic Honor Roll awards earned by 31 different athletes. One of her players has earned the ACC’s Weaver-James-Corrican Postgraduate Scholarship every year of her tenure, with Katherine Plessy winning in 2016, Leigh Andrew in 2017 and Vanessa Freire in 2018.
Niles led the Seminoles to unprecedented heights during the program’s first season as an official NCAA Championship sport. Her first year in Tallahassee was highlighted by a series of program firsts including a school-record for dual-match victories (32), a conference championship, the top-seed in the inaugural NCAA Beach Volleyball Championship and a national runner-up finish.
Florida State hit the ground running under Niles, winning its first 14 matches, all on the road, with eight of those victories coming against ranked foes including five ranked in the top-10. One of those wins came against then-No. 2 Southern California in Los Angeles as the Seminoles snapped the Women of Troy’s 19-match home win streak. FSU went on to earn the No. 1 overall seed at the NCAA Beach Volleyball Championship after claiming the 2016 Coastal Collegiate Sports Association (CCSA) Conference title.
The Seminoles finished the 2016 campaign as the national runner-up at the NCAA Beach Volleyball Championship in Gulf Shores, Ala. after posting a 3-2 record at the tournament. FSU went on to set the single-season school record for victories in a season with 32 and ranked in the Top 5 of the AVCA national poll all year. Along with their 14-match win streak, the Seminoles also put together a school-record 17-match win streak which saw Florida State outscore the opposition 71-10. At season’s end, Florida State registered 19 victories over ranked schools, while posting an 11-3 mark against teams ranked in the Top 10.
Niles was recognized for her outstanding effort in her first season at the helm of the Seminole beach volleyball program as she was named National Coach of the Year by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA).
In her second year under the helm Niles continued the winning tradition of Florida State beach volleyball. The team finished with the second most wins in school history and the third most in the country (29). Niles and the Noles secured back-to-back CCSA Championships after they defeated FIU 3-0 in 34 minutes. Florida State reached their second consecutive NCAA Beach Volleyball Championship appearance and sixth straight post season appearance, tied for most of any school.
The Seminoles finished the 2017 season in fourth place at the NCAA Beach Volleyball Championship in Gulf Shore, Ala. after going 2-2 at the tournament. The Noles defeated a school record 22 ranked teams during the 2017 season including 13 wins over top-10 teams and three over top-5 teams. The 2017 season saw the Garnet and Gold defeat Pepperdine for the first time in school history as they took down the second-ranked wave in Tallahassee.
Under Niles, Florida State garnered two AVCA All-Americans, six CCSA All-Conference selections, a league-best three student-athletes named to the CCSA All-Academic team in 2016, the CCSA Scholar Athlete of the Year (Macy Jerger) in 2017, the CCSA Pair of the Year in 2016 (Julie Brown/Jace Pardon) and 10 Seminoles who earned a spot on the CCSA Academic Honor Roll.
Niles set the bar even higher in her third season, scheduling 13 dual matches against ranked opponents in the regular season and finishing with a program-record 33 wins. Florida State reached its third consecutive NCAA Beach Volleyball Championship appearance, and seventh-straight postseason appearance, making FSU one of only two programs to make every NCAA and AVCA National Championship (along with Pepperdine).
The Seminoles went undefeated to make it to the finals of the NCAA Championship for the first time, taking down No. 1 UCLA, No. 3 Hawaii and No. 5 USC along the way. FSU fell to No. 1-overall UCLA in the finals for the team’s second NCAA Runner-Up finish under Niles.
FSU tallied 14 wins against AVCA Top-20 opponents in 2018, picking up four wins against higher-ranked teams. Through her three seasons at the helm, the Seminoles have remained undefeated against every East Coast team, and have not lost to a CCSA team since joining the conference in Niles’ first year.
Niles saw two more All-Americans in her third season, as Tory Paranagua and Vanessa Freire became the program’s 12th and 13th All-Americans. Four Seminoles were named to the CCSA All-Conference team, Macy Jerger earned her second consecutive CCSA Scholar-Athlete of the Year recognition, and the program placed 19 on the ACC Academic Honor Roll.
Florida State University athletics announced the hiring of U.S. beach volleyball professional Brooke Niles as the Seminoles beach volleyball head coach on June 16, 2015. Niles, a California native who earned All-America honors as a player, has coached at the collegiate, junior college, club and high school levels working with both indoor and sand volleyball teams.
Niles, who earned a law and society degree from UC Santa Barbara in 2003, was a third-team All-American while playing for the Gauchos where she also was a three-time All-Big West selection and named conference freshman of the year. Following her playing career at UCSB, Niles spent three years as an assistant indoor coach at her alma mater before beginning a successful professional beach volleyball career in 2007 that saw her win numerous pro tournaments along with being named the AVP Beach Defensive Player of the Year in 2009.
While climbing to a Top 5 ranking in the National Volleyball Beach League and spending 2010-13 as a member of the USA Beach National Team, Niles was a first alternate for the USA 2012 London Olympic Beach National team.
The Woodland Hills native returned to coaching in 2010 at Oxnard Junior College with the indoor team. In 2012 she began coaching professional beach volleyball teams competing on the FIVB World Tour from the USA, Costa Rica and the Netherlands. Most recently Niles coached at Mira Costa High School in California and she was the director, founder and head coach of The Beach Team Club in Hermosa.
“I’m very excited that Brooke to joined our volleyball family,” said FSU Volleyball Head Coach Chris Poole. “She played beach volleyball and indoor volleyball at the highest level. She has also coached indoor volleyball at a Top 10 level in the NCAA Division I and she has coached and trained with some of the best beach players in the world. The references we got from National Team level players/coaches and Gold Medalist were outstanding. She had a very impressive resume and made an impact on everyone during her visit.”
“Brooke will lead the squad in a fantastic way and help the ladies grow and learn in so many ways,” said Kerri Walsh a three-time Olympic gold medalist in beach volleyball. “Her competitiveness is truly an asset as it leads her to work hard and push for excellence. She practices what she preaches and this to me is what coaching/teaching is all about.”
Niles is married to Nick Lucena, a Florida State graduate, professional beach volleyball player on the AVP Tour and Olympian in the 2016 Olympics in Rio. They have two children, Gunnar and Cole.