She sparked the rise of the Florida State women’s basketball program as a standout player on the court from 1997 to 2001. Ten years later, Brooke Wyckoff returned to the Seminoles – this time on the bench, joining Sue Semrau’s revamped staff beginning in the 2011-12 season.
Through eight seasons, Wyckoff’s tremendous results in defensive game planning, coaching the post players, recruiting, scouting and other areas resulted in a reward: Being named the team’s associate head coach on May 1, 2018.
In her five seasons of taking over the defense, FSU’s sub-60 points allowed in three of the past five years mark the only three times the program has surrendered less than 60 in a season.
Wyckoff’s first season as associate head coach began as a tall task, but she helped Florida State soar past expectations: The Seminoles were the youngest team to play in the NCAA Tournament with an average age of 19.4 years old, reaching the NCAA Second Round. A team that had to replace its entire starting five entering the year finished 24-9 overall and 10-6 in the ACC in 2018-19.
Defensively, the 2018-19 squad that included several new faces improved its points per game allowed average by -3.1 per game from the year before. Opponents also made just over one 3-point field goal less per game in 2018-19 compared to the previous year, and a 10-1 record in five-point games or less also highlighted key defensive stops that were made down the stretch of several games.
In 2017-18, the Seminole standout helped FSU record 25+ wins for the fourth straight season, finishing with a 26-7 overall record. The Seminoles once again displayed their rebounding hallmark, ranking sixth nationally in rebound margin and 11th in rebounds per game.
Inside players Shakayla Thomas, Ama Degbeon and Chatrice White each enjoyed banner senior seasons in 2017-18 – Thomas became FSU’s second three-time All-American, while White and Degbeon developed into two of the ACC’s most feared defensive post players.
She has helped Florida State mark its territory in her native state of Ohio, signing McDonald’s All-American Valencia Myers of Solon, Ohio. Myers helped compose another Top-5 recruiting class for the Seminoles in 2018, and she churned out an All-ACC Freshman Team season in 2018-19 with 54 blocked shots – the most by a Seminole freshman since Jacinta Monroe in 2006-07.
Wyckoff also brought in sharp-shooter Sammie Puisis as part of the 2019 signing class. Puisis is a Mason, Ohio, native who adds another McDonald’s All-American to the program.
Wyckoff helped post player Chatrice White have a strong first season with the Seminoles, earning ACC Sixth Player of the Year honors in 2017. Front-court performer Shakayla Thomas was named the ACC Player of the Year and earned All-America honors for the second straight season.
Wyckoff’s recent season in 2016-17 once again produced strong defensive results: The Seminoles went to their second NCAA Elite Eight in three years after allowing just 58.3 points per game, the third straight year they have held opponents to under 60 points per game. FSU led the ACC in rebound margin, rebounding defense, rebounding margin and offensive rebounding percentage. Since Wyckoff has taken control of the defensive game plan, FSU has put up record-setting numbers against the opposition.
Her Spanish connections, being fluent in the Spanish language after enjoying a professional career overseas, resulted in point guard Leticia Romero finishing her career as the first three-time All-American in program history in 2016-17.
In the 2015-16 season, Wyckoff’s impact was felt once again. The Seminoles were one of eight programs nationally who enjoyed consecutive trips to the NCAA Sweet 16 and finished the season with a 25-8 overall record.
Wyckoff’s work on the defensive end yielded positive results in 15-16: FSU allowed just 57.5 points per game, which follows a 2014-15 season when it allowed only 57.3 points per game.
FSU’s dominance on the glass was evident again in 2015-16. The Seminoles finished first in the conference in rebounding defense (29.1), rebounding margin (+12.0), defensive rebounding percentage (73.2) and offensive rebounding percentage (44.1 percent). Of the 16 ACC opponents faced, 11 were held to under 40 percent shooting.
She was an instrumental part of Florida State’s 2014-15 campaign that included a school record for wins (32-5) and the program’s second trip to the NCAA Elite Eight. The Seminoles finished the season with their highest final ranking ever at seventh in both the Associated Press and USA Today Polls as well as the RPI.
Wyckoff’s work with the post players proved to be beneficial for two-time All-American Adut Bulgak. The Edmonton, Canada, native flourished in her senior year as a WBCA All-American, the Team MVP, an All-ACC performer and a Senior CLASS All-American. Bulgak was selected with the 12th pick in the first round of the WNBA Draft to the New York Liberty, giving FSU a run of three straight first-round selections (all post players in Bulgak, Natasha Howard and Jacinta Monroe).
Wyckoff’s primary scouting duties shifted to the defense and her hard work in game preparation paid dividends for the Seminoles. The 2014-15 Seminoles allowed just 57.3 points per game, which is the lowest they’ve ever surrendered. Florida State ranked third nationally with a +12.3 rebound margin and held nearly half (18 of 37) of their opponents to under 35 percent shooting. In each of the last two seasons (2015-16 and 2014-15), FSU has finished in the Top 5 in rebounding margin.
FSU’s defense, anchored by Bulgak as a junior, set a school record for total rebounds with 1,611, and allowed just 0.77 points per possession in 2014-15. The Seminoles never allowed more than 80 points scored.
Wyckoff’s efforts on the recruiting trail once again loomed large. Having played professionally in the Canary Islands, she is fluent in Spanish and was a big reason for the arrival of Romero in the 2014 summer. Romero enjoyed an All-America season for the Seminoles in 2014-15 and added more All-America honors as a junior and senior, being granted immediate eligibility mid-season and sparking FSU to a record-setting run.
In 2013-14, FSU finished 21-12 and reached the NCAA postseason for the ninth time in the previous 10 years. A group that was short on depth due to transfers and injuries at the beginning of the season found a way to reach the second round of the NCAA Tournament and earn 10 Top 100 RPI wins. Senior forward Natasha Howard emerged as one of the top players in the country, averaging 20.5 points, 9.3 rebounds and 59.4 percent shooting.
Wyckoff has been an influential figure in Howard’s life both on and off the court, admired because of her personable nature and ability to connect well with her student-athletes. Under Wyckoff’s tutelage, Howard had one of the most dominant seasons in school history as a senior, which included averaging 23.3 points and 9.6 rebounds against top-notch ACC competition. Howard was rewarded with the fifth overall selection by the Indiana Fever in the 2014 WNBA Draft, the highest in school history. Howard went on to win a WNBA Championship with the Minnesota Lynx in 2017 as well as with the Seattle Storm in 2018, winning the WNBA’s Most Improved Player that year.
In the 2012-13 year, FSU posted a 23-10 record, finished fourth in the ACC and advanced to its eighth NCAA Tournament in nine years. Along the way, Wyckoff, a star forward during her playing career, helped the Seminoles land a school-record and a conference-best three players on the All-ACC First Team, as senior guards Alexa Deluzio and Leo Rodriguez and junior forward Natasha Howard collected honors from the conference office.
Four years later, Rodriguez would join fellow Canary Islands native Romero in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games and earn a silver medal in Rio – the country’s first medal in women’s basketball.
Senior forward Chasity Clayton also nabbed ACC Sixth Player of the Year accolades, as Florida State finished in the top 10 nationally in both scoring and field goal percentage. FSU’s 74.8 points per game average and .453 shooting percentage were its highest marks in 20 years.
Without a doubt, Wyckoff was one of the greatest Seminoles ever to wear the Garnet and Gold on the hardwood before playing nine seasons in the WNBA. Wyckoff’s experience at the professional level has given the Seminoles a rare commodity on the bench.
Along with the immediate credibility her hoops career provides, Wyckoff possesses an amiable personality that has made her an immediate hit on the recruiting trail. Her efforts led the Seminoles to sign one of the nation’s top incoming recruiting classes in 2013. Led by four-star McDonald’s All-America center Kai James as well as Ivey Slaughter, Brittany Brown and Gabby Bevillard, the Noles’ 2013 signing class featured three Top 100 players and ranked as the nation’s No. 7 class by All-Star Girls Report and No. 11 by ESPNW HoopGurlz. That senior class won 106 games at FSU, the most in program history.
Wyckoff’s recruiting abilities shone through once again with the 2014 class, signing highly-touted prospects Shakayla Thomas, Chania Ray and Ama Degbeon. The addition of the No. 1 junior college center in the nation, Adut Bulgak, once again provided the Noles with an abundance of talent as she garnered All-America honors as a junior and senior at FSU.
Wyckoff also serves as the Seminoles’ program’s liaison with the FSU academic support staff in addition to her on-court duties. In three of the past four years (2016, 2017, 2018), FSU has either led or tied for the conference lead in All-ACC Academic Team selections.
In her first year back at FSU, Wyckoff, a star versatile forward during her career, helped tutor all-conference forwards Cierra Bravard and Howard. Bravard later signed a professional contract with the WNBA’s San Antonio SilverStars and played the 2013 WNBA season with the Seattle Storm. Howard led the ACC in double-doubles in 2012, then set a single-season school record with 15 double-doubles as a senior.
A native of West Chester, Ohio, the talented post/wing was one of the top high school players in the country before signing a National Letter of Intent with FSU in 1997 in what was Semrau’s first season in Tallahassee.
In her freshman year, Wyckoff made an immediate impact as she set a single-season record at the time with 80 blocks on her way to earning ACC All-Freshman Team honors. Conference accolades continued to roll in during her next three years with a pair of All-ACC Third Team selections (1999 and 2000) and finally an All-ACC First Team honor as a senior in 2001.
Wyckoff’s 1,350 career points is the 15th-most in school history and her 804 rebounds rank seventh. She ranks No. 2 at FSU in career blocks with 209. She averaged 12.4 ppg and 7.4 rpg while starting all 109 games she played in her career.
Perhaps most importantly, Wyckoff was the cornerstone of the Seminoles’ first winning season in nine years as the team posted a 19-12 record in 2001 and finished fourth in the ACC. That season culminated in the school’s first trip to the NCAA Tournament in 10 years and All-America honors for Wyckoff, which was the first national accolade for an FSU women’s basketball player since 1993. She capped her career by scoring 14.6 ppg and pulling down 6.6 rpg that final season.
In addition to boasting the honor of being just one of four former ‘Noles to have their jerseys’ retired, Wyckoff was also an outstanding performer in the classroom. She is the only Seminole to ever earn four All-ACC Academic Women’s Basketball Team honors as well as four nods to the ACC Academic Honor Roll.
In 2001, she earned an ACC Postgraduate scholarship and was named to the ACC Legends Class of 2010. In 2002, she was named to the 51-member ACC 50th Anniversary Women’s Basketball Team.
She also played with the USA Women’s Basketball Select Team for three consecutive summers.
In 2011, Wyckoff was inducted into the Butler County Sports Hall of Fame as well as the Florida State Athletic Hall of Fame and the Greater Cincinnati Basketball Hall of Fame.
Following her senior year, Wyckoff was selected by the Orlando Miracle in the second round of the WNBA Draft. She spent two seasons in Orlando before the team moved to Connecticut where she played another three seasons with the Sun.
She was then selected by the Chicago Sky in the 2006 WNBA Expansion draft and played for that franchise until 2009.
During her nine-year WNBA career, Wyckoff appeared in 242 games.
After concluding her professional basketball career, Wyckoff served as an assistant girls basketball coach at Lakota East High School in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Wyckoff has one daughter, Avery. She is also 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.