Jim BrunelliHead Coach
Office Phone: (864) 231-2011
Jim Brunelli was named head women's basketball coach at Anderson University on July 31, 2008 and is entering his fifth season at the helm of the Trojan women’s hoops program. He came to Anderson from the University of Akron where he spent two seasons as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator.
“The number one 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 experienced, especially the women’s basketball program over the last several years. [Director of Athletics] Nancy 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 took the reins of a program that had made six consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament and has continued to set the bar high, amassing 59 wins in four seasons and guiding the Trojans to two consecutive trips to the Big Dance, in 2009 and 2010.
“It was exciting to get a head coaching position,” he said. “For me, it was a dream come true. I set a goal 10 years ago to become a head coach. It was 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.”
Brunelli’s Trojan teams have shown a knack for peaking at the right time, as AU closed out the 2008-09 campaign by winning five of its last six regular-season games, then won four straight to claim the conference tournament title by an average margin of 24.5 points, with three of the contests on the road.
The 2009-10 campaign saw the Trojans win seven of their final eight regular-season contests and claim the second seed in the Conference Carolinas tournament. Anderson hosted the tourney at the Abney Center and garnered three straight victories to capture its second consecutive title and eighth straight trip to the NCAA Regional.
Under Brunelli’s tutelage, a pair of Trojans have earned All Conference Tournament honors (Amanda Parris and Alexa Neal), while Alissa Diaz and Neal (twice) have collected All-Conference accolades. Sierra Simpson earned South Atlantic Conference Freshman of the Year honors following a stellar rookie season and Shanice Wilson was named MVP of the 2010 Conference Tournament.
Prior to arriving at Akron, Brunelli was at the University of Albany where he spent six seasons as an assistant coach, the last two as the top assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. During his tenure with the Great Danes, he was responsible for the signing of All-America East selection Danielle Hutcheson. He also served as interim head coach at Albany for five months at the completion of the 2001-02 season.
“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.”
The Force, Pa. native, began his career at Clarion University where he was an assistant coach from 1998 to 2000. Brunelli played for the men's basketball team at Clarion in 1993-94 and earned a B.S. degree in education from Clarion in 1996 and a masters degree in communication education and mass media in 2000.
He and his wife, Stacey, and two daughters, Baylee Ann (9) and Jaylynn (6) live in Anderson.
The Brunelli File
2009-12 Head Coach Anderson University
2008-09 Head Coach Anderson University
2007-08 Assistant Coach University of Akron
2006-07 Assistant Coach University of Akron
2005-06 Assistant Coach University of Albany
2004-05 Assistant Coach University of Albany
2003-04 Assistant Coach University of Albany
2002-03 Assistant Coach University of Albany
2001-02 Assistant Coach University of Albany
2000-01 Assistant Coach University of Albany
1999-00 Assistant Coach Clarion University
1998-99 Assistant Coach Clarion University