New head basketball coach Darrell Brooks - Courtesy Photo
Once again, Bowie State University has placed control of its menâ€™s basketball program in the hands of Darrell Brooksâ€”this time as head coach. The Bulldogâ€™s point guard from 1975-79, Brooks succeeds Luke Dâ€™Alessio, two-time Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Coach of the Year, whose contract with the school was not renewed after the team posted a 15-13 record for the 2008-09 season.
â€œThis is a unique situation and the fact that Bowie State is my alma mater makes it even more special,â€ Brooks, 53, said. â€œItâ€™s like going home to a family reunion. [Itâ€™s] a tremendous honor to be back.â€
Brooks, who graduated in 1979, said he intends to make the graduation of his players a priority.
â€œBeing a graduate of Bowie State, I know what you can achieve in life by having a degree,â€ he said.
A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Brooks takes over a team that welcomes back nine seniors and loses just one player. One of those returning, 6â€™7â€ forward Duke Crews, from Hampton, Va., was named All-CIAA last season. Crews, who averaged 15.5 points and 10.6 rebounds, lead the Bulldogs in scoring 10 times.
â€œWe are excited to have Darrell Brooks as Bowie Stateâ€™s new head coach of our menâ€™s basketball team and we look forward to his leadership and to generating a new level of success among team members,â€ said Mickey L Burnim, president of Bowie State University.
Arlene Cook, interim director of athletics, expressed excitement over Brooksâ€™ appointment.
â€œDarrell Brooks is more than a welcome addition to our sports program at Bowie State. We are proud he is a product of our athletic program,â€ Cook said. â€œHe brings talent, experience and determination.â€
Brooksâ€™ immediate recruiting priority is to add a point guard.
â€œ[D.C. is] a great area for recruiting because of the large pool of talented players from which to choose,â€ Brooks said.
Brooks envisions his Bulldogs as a defensive-oriented team that applies end-to-end, full-court pressure.
â€œWeâ€™ll really get after teams and make them hurry to do whatever it is they want to do,â€ he said. â€œWe want to make teams play under duress. If they make a great play, weâ€™ll tip our hats to them.â€
A Bowie State assistant coach from 1984-85, Brooks assumes the helm of the Bulldogâ€™s program after eight years as an assistant coach with the George Washington University menâ€™s varsity basketball team. He was also an assistant coach at Loyola University (1997-2001), George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. (1993-97), American University in Northwest (1990-93), The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va. (1988-90), and Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio (1985-88).
Brooks considers the CIAA one of the best Division II conferences in the country and hopes to build on Bowie Stateâ€™s winning history and tradition. The team captured the CIAA championship in 2003 and advanced to the NCAA Division II Final Four that year. The team went to the Division II â€œSweet Sixteenâ€ in 2005.
Currently, Brooks resides in Randallstown, Md., with his wife Sandra. He is the father of two adult children, Aalyiah and D.J., and a grandfather of three.