Men's Basketball

Brian Cooley
Position: Assistant Coach
Alma Mater: Nebraska Wesleyan
Graduating Year: 2006
Experience: 1st Year
Cooley Photos
Brian Cooley Biography
Courtesy: WSU Athletic Media Relations
Release: 04/13/2016

Brian Cooley Biography

Brian Cooley is in his first year at Wright State but has been on Scott Nagy’s bench as an assistant coach for seven years after serving as a graduate assistant for two years.

Cooley serves as recruiting coordinator, as well as being involved in all aspects of the program, including game preparation, practice planning and leading the guards in player development workouts. 

During his tenure as assistant coach, he helped the Jackrabbits to 154 wins, including a 121 in the last five seasons, which resulted in five straight postseason appearances.  SDSU captured back-to-back Summit League Tournament championships and NCAA tournament berths in 2012 and 2013 and again in 2016, with a College Basketball Invitational bid in 2014 and an NIT berth in 2015, when the Jacks won their first-ever Division I postseason game at Colorado State. 

2015-16 not only saw a return to the NCAA Tournament, narrowly losing to five seed Maryland, but also the school’s highest year-end RPI at 39 and three players honored by the Summit League in post-season teams.

The 2012-13, Jackrabbits won both the regular season and post season Summit League championships before losing to Michigan in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The 25-10 record includes a perfect 13-0 mark at Frost Arena that extended the nation’s longest home winning streak to 30 games. The season also includes a win at Mountain West champion New Mexico, helping the Jackrabbits finish the season ranked 18th in the mid-major poll.

The 2011-12 Jackrabbits made history across the board, winning the Summit League Tournament championship and earning the program’s first ever Division I NCAA Tournament berth, where the Jacks fell to Baylor in the second round. Season highlights include a win at Pac 12 champion Washington and finishing with a school best 44 RPI en route to a 27-win season, which ties the school record.

Cooley coached a total of 13 Jackrabbits who went on to earn All-Summit League honors, including 2013 Summit League Player of the Year, the Jacks all-time leading scorer and assists man and the 38th overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft, Nate Wolters.

Before becoming an assistant coach, Cooley served as the program’s academic coordinator, helping the Jackrabbits to a 3.0 or better team grade point average from 2010-13, as well as helping the Jackrabbits earn 19 spots on the Summit League Academic All-League Team and a pair of CoSIDA Academic All-District selections during that span.

Cooley came to South Dakota State after working as an assistant under Jason Ryan at Bellevue East High School in Bellevue, Neb., in 2006-07.

Cooley played at Nebraska Wesleyan in Lincoln, Neb. For four years with the Prairie Wolves, earning the team’s defensive player of the year honor as a senior captain in 2005-06.

More than just a great all-around athlete, Cooley also earned Great Plains Athletic Conference Scholar Athlete honors in 2006, and graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan University in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in health and physical education.

Cooley graduated with his master’s degree in sports pedagogy from South Dakota State in the spring of 2009.