Brunelli Named Head Women’s Basketball Coach At Anderson University
Anderson University has named Jim Brunelli as head women’s basketball coach, AU athletic director Nancy Simpson announced Thursday afternoon. “I am thrilled Jim Brunelli will be joining the Trojan staff as our new head women’s basketball coach,” Simpson said. “He brings to us a wealth of experience as well as a passion and commitment to the game and to the student-athletes that is just tremendous. There is no doubt he will continue to build on the success we have been fortunate enough to have in past years.”
Brunelli replaces Jeff Dow, who resigned in June to become the head women’s coach at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. “The No. 1 thing that attracted me to Anderson University was the academics,” Brunelli said. “The academics are excellent and that helps recruiting. Another thing was the outstanding athletic department and the success that it has had, especially the women’s basketball program over the last several years. Mrs. Simpson and everyone at Anderson made me feel welcome. It is a good area for women’s basketball and a good area to recruit.”
Brunelli comes to Anderson from the University of Akron where he spent one season as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. “It’s exciting to get a head coaching position,” he said. “For me, it is a dream come true. I set a goal 10 years ago to become a head coach. It is exciting for me and my family to come to a place like Anderson. I could not have picked a more perfect place to become a head coach.”
Prior to arriving at Akron, Brunelli spent six years at the University of Albany. In his final two seasons at Albany, he was the top assistant and recruiting coordinator. He also served as interim head coach at Albany for five months at the completion of the 2001-02 season.
“I haven’t seen the team at Anderson yet, but I like to be up tempo on offensive end and aggressive on the defensive end,” he said. “I’m not afraid to mix it up and play zone, but we’re not going to sit back in a zone with our hands up. We will do some trapping and some other concepts. I like to run and push the ball. I want a lot of players to shoot the three, but I also want to have inside presence.”
Brunelli started his career at Clarion University where he was an assistant coach from ’98 to ’00. He earned a B.S. degree in education from Clarion in ’96 and a masters degree in communication education and mass media in ’00.
Brunelli inherits a team at Anderson that has won 79 games in the past three seasons but returns just seven players from last season’s 28-4 team.
“The process went quickly but it is late so we’re going to have to get settled as soon as we can,” he said. “We will have to hit the ground running. It’s going to be a whirlwind but there’s a lot of excitement to it. I know my family is going to enjoy the community. Everyone I met in the community made me feel very welcome.”