This week, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy second-year men’s basketball head coach Rob Pryor announced the addition of Derek Brooks as an assistant coach for the Mariners ahead of the 2018-19 season. Brooks officially began his tenure at Kings Point this past Tuesday.
Brooks, a 2011 U.S. Air Force Academy graduate, served on the women’s basketball staff at his alma mater as an assistant coach and intercollegiate program manager for three seasons from 2014-2017. He was responsible for managing Air Force’s recruiting, planning and training, while also handling the team’s budget. He also produced scouting reports and video highlights of the Falcons’ opponent to prepare the team for their games.
“Derek is a tremendous addition to our men’s basketball staff,” said Pryor. “His work ethic, organizational skills and passion to positively impact student-athletes is second to none. His Service Academy experience as a player and coach will prove invaluable to our student-athletes and allow him to relate to them in a real way.”
Prior to working at Air Force, Brooks, who has ranked as high as Captain in the U.S. Air Force, spent three years at Hanscom AFB, Mass., as a financial management officer. During his time in Massachusetts, he served as an assistant varsity basketball coach at Thayer Academy during the 2011-12 season, as well as the head coach for the 17-and-under, 14-and-under and 11-and-under teams at the Middlesex Magic AAU Program from 2012-2014.
Brooks, who earned his bachelor’s degree in social sciences, enjoyed an outstanding basketball career with Air Force from 2008-11. A four-year letterwinner and captain of the 2011 Falcons, Brooks helped lead Air Force to a berth in the CollegeInsider Tournament. As a senior, Brooks averaged 10 points and five rebounds per game, while shooting 49% from the field and 43% from three-point range.
After his senior season, Brooks earned the highest honor a USAFA men’s basketball player can achieve – the Bob Spear Award, given to the student-athlete that is outstanding in all areas of the Academy – academics, athletics and military performance.
After graduation, Brooks had the opportunity to play for the bronze medal winning 2011 All-Armed Forces team that competed in the International SHAPE tournament in Mons, Belgium. The team also featured former Falcon teammates Tim Anderson, Matthew Holland, Avery Merriex and Hunter Myers. He also competed with former Academy teammates on the 2012 All-Air Force team that won the gold medal at the 2012 Armed Forces Championships.
“I am beyond grateful and excited for this opportunity to coach here at the United States Merchant Marine Academy,” said Brooks. “I want to thank Coach Pryor for the opportunity to join his staff and help the USMMA basketball program continue to progress forward and present a product that he and the Kings Point community will be proud of!”
A native of Nathalie, Va., Brooks currently resides in Melville, N.Y., with his wife, Lauren, and their daughter, Savannah.
Brooks, who has already gotten in his first couple of practices with the Mariners this week, will be on the sidelines for the squad’s first game next Tuesday, Nov. 20.