SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Former UCSB women's volleyball player Brooke Niles was named the AVCA National Coach of the Year after leading Florida State's beach volleyball program to a national runner-up finish, it was announced this week.
In just her first year at the helm, Niles guided the Seminoles to a historic finish in the program's first season as an official NCAA championship sport.
While at UCSB, Niles was an All-American setter who competed in four straight NCAA Tournaments (1999-2002), advancing as far as the Elite Eight in her first two seasons. In a career in which she was selected All-Big West three times and also named the Big West Freshman of the Year, Niles's impact on the program is still evident in Gaucho record book where she is ninth in career digs (1,323) and eighth in career assists (2,448).
After graduating from UCSB in 2003, she spent three years as an assistant coach with the Gauchos before embarking on a successful professional beach volleyball career in 2007. While competing on the AVP Tour, she won numerous pro tournaments and was also named the AVP Beach Defensive Player of the Year in 2009.
She eventually worked her way up to a top five ranking in the National Volleyball Beach League and was a member of the USA Beach National Team from 2010-13.
During that time, she added to her coaching resume by working with professional beach volleyball teams competing on the FIVB World Tour from the USA, Costa Rica, and the Netherlands.
While Niles is part of the Gauchos storied history, the 2016 UCSB team will give a sneak preview on Saturday morning when it hosts UCLA in its final scrimmage of the spring. The contest will start at 10 am in Robertson Gymnasium and the public is welcome to attend.