Special to PN
East Rankin Academy (ERA) named 2010 ERA graduate, Brooke Rhodes, as the new JV/Varsity Girls Basketball Coach. Rhodes has recently completed her first year as the Associate Head Coach for the Western Carolina women's basketball team after joining the program in May 2020.
Prior to Western Carolina, Rhodes spent two seasons in Clinton, S.C., at Presbyterian College. In the summer of 2019, Rhodes was promoted to associate head coach and recruiting coordinator for the Blue Hose.
Before Presbyterian, Rhodes spent two seasons on the bench at Jones County Junior College in Ellisville, Miss., where she helped coach the Bobcats to a 56-6 (.903) record over that span. The team won back-to-back Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) State Championships as well as back-to-back National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region 23 Championships. In 2016, the Bobcats made their first-ever National Tournament appearance and advanced to the Elite Eight. In 2017, the team returned to the tournament and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen. During her tenure, Rhodes was selected to coach in the 2017 NJCAA All-Star Game as well as the 2018 MACJC Sophomore All-Star Game.
Prior to her time at JCJC, Rhodes was at Central Arkansas for a season where she helped guide the Sugar Bears to an overall record of 28-3, a Southland Conference tournament championship and the program’s first D-I NCAA Tournament berth. That year, UCA set program records for regular season wins (28) and Southland Conference victories (16) while going undefeated on the road in conference play for the first time in program history.
Coach Rhodes had a successful playing career at both the University of Southern Mississippi and Delta State where her teams went a combined 96-32 (.744). A team captain on a 25-win, WNIT Elite Eight team at Southern Miss in 2014-15, Rhodes finished the season ranked second in the Conference USA and among the national Top-40 in 3-point field goal percentage.
A prolific shooter throughout her career, Rhodes – a Daktronics All-South Region selection in 2012 – finished her time in uniform with averages of 36.7 percent from 3-point range and 81.3 percent at the free-throw line.
As an East Rankin player, she was a Dandy Dozen selection and a two-time statewide MAIS Player of the Year, leading the ERA Lady Patriots to their first MAIS Overall Championship victory. Rhodes earned her undergraduate degree in biological sciences with a chemistry minor from Southern Miss in 2014. She also completed a master's at USM in sports coaching education in 2016.