New women’s basketball coach Kohlheim introduced

Marco Cicchino, Staff writer

It was announced April 15 that former Florida Southern standout Brooklyn Kohlheim would become the 14th head coach in the history of the Mercyhurst women’s basketball program, taking over after Deanna Richard, who will not return after 12 seasons with the team.

Kohlheim was introduced the following day in a news conference at Ryan Hall on the main campus, which coincided with the Laker for Life announcements.

“I am grateful for the opportunity that President Michael T. Victor, Brad Davis and the Mercyhurst community has given me to lead this program,” Kohlheim said in a news release from Hurst Athletics. “Their vision for Mercyhurst women’s basketball is aligned with my own. The commitment to developing every individual as a whole is evident in the atmosphere and resources available throughout campus. This is the perfect fit for me.”

A native of Fort Myers, Florida, Kohlheim, 36, comes to Erie after playing four years at Florida Southern University and spending 14 seasons in several coaching positions around Division II.
Most recently, she spent the 2018-19 season heading Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC) school Lake Erie, where they finished the season 11-16, but finished the season with the school’s highest team grade-point average. Prior to Lake Erie College, she spent three years as an assistant at Michigan Tech and Sunshine State champion Nova Southeastern, reaching the Final Four in 2013-14. She also spent time at Indianapolis and Division I Florida Atlantic. She is credited with helping build the Sharks into a national power, winning consecutive SSC titles in 2013 and 2014. Kohlheim then reached the top spot on the Women’s Basketball Coaches of America poll.

“The moment you walk on campus, the word that comes into my mind is enchanting,” Kohlheim said. “It is a very special place and the culture that everybody has bought into and built around here is felt by every visitor. … I’m really looking forward to the growth we are going to have as a team.”

Kohlheim graduated from Florida Southern College in 2005 with a degree in History and finished her career as the all-time program leader in free-throw percentage (.792), three-pointers (180), and three-point percentage (.305) while finishing 18 th in career scoring (953). In 2001 and 2002, Kohlheim was named to the SSC All-Freshman Team after averaging 8.7 points and 27.1 minutes per contest while shooting 35.5 percent from the floor and leading the team with 46 made threes. The following season, she averaged 7.6 points per contest. In 2003 and 2004, she was one of only three players to appear in all 29 contests, leading the team in threes (40) and free-throw percentage (.831).

In 2004 and 2005, she finished her career with 8.6 points per game that season and was the only player to start all 29 games, making 49 threes and led the team with 31.1 minutes per game. “Coach Kohlheim is an amazing teacher and learner of the game,” former colleague and past Michigan Tech head coach Kim Cameron told Hurst Athletics. “She won’t be outworked, and she is a player’s coach. Her enthusiasm and passion for her team is what sets her apart.”

Kohlheim’s new players are also enthusiastic about her hiring.

“She came into the locker room and had a great sense of humor, her vision was clear, and she is definitely someone I pictured standing in front of our locker room on gameday,” rising junior Eliza Oswalt said. “She has great leadership qualities, just seemed like a very personable person. … I think you can expect some pretty big things from us next year.”