Kenny Brooks is first Black head coach to win ACC women’s basketball tournament

The history-making milestone occurred when his third-seeded Hokies defeated Louisville 75-67.

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Coach Kenny Brooks of Virginia Tech won the ACC women’s basketball championship on Sunday and in the process became the first Black head coach to do so in the history of the conference.

As ESPN reports, the history-making milestone occurred when his third-seeded Hokies defeated  Louisville 75-67.

Virginia v Virginia Tech
(L-R) Head coach Kenny Brooks and forward Taylor Soule (#13) of the Virginia Tech Hokies in the third quarter on Jan. 5, 2023 during a game against the Virginia Cavaliers at Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg, Virginia. (Photo by Ryan Hunt/Getty Images)

“This honor, I didn’t know it until they told me after the game. If you’d asked me about five, 10 years ago, I wouldn’t have embraced it as much. Honestly, being a Black head coach in a women’s sport, it is tough. It really is,” said Brooks in an interview with ESPN. According to the report, he is the only Black male head coach at the Power 5 level. 

“I think that there are coaches out there that are definitely worthy of an opportunity,” Brooks added.

Brooks became the seventh Virginia Tech head women’s basketball coach in 2016. Before his arrival, Virginia Tech was not competitive, but under Brooks’ leadership, the team has become a national contender.

The Hokies have enjoyed six consecutive winning seasons, according to the school’s news release. After Sunday’s game, they now have three consecutive appearances at the NCAA tournament.

USA Today Sports reporter Steve Berkowitz explained on Twitter that the win “gives coach Kenny Brooks $30,000 in bonuses ($10K for title + $20K for NCAA tournament bid). He now has $50,000 in on-court bonuses so far.”

His goal is to continue to win big and “open up doors for a lot of other guys who look like me,” Brooks explained to ESPN.

“There’s a lot of Black coaches, males also, that are good for the game. Let’s just get the best people out there, give them an opportunity and good things like this will happen.”

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