Rebecca “Reb” Brooks joined the Brewster community last year as Associate Director of Admission and Director of Financial Aid with 15 years of experience in the field. But her success as an athlete is just as impressive. Brewster’s Girls’ Varsity Basketball has found its rhythm as of late, winning their last three games in a row under Brooks as their new head coach along with returning assistant coach Kara McDuffee. In her first year as head coach at Brewster, Brooks has led the girls off to a promising 4-3 start.
Originally from Simsbury, Conn., Brooks attended Westminster School. Growing up, she earned a reputation as a tough competitor. A three-sport athlete at Division III Williams College in western Massachusetts, Brooks was an All-American in soccer, basketball, and track and field. She played a year of professional basketball in France before deciding on a career in education.
The youngest of three, she has two older brothers, Ethan and Fletcher Brooks. Ethan played seven seasons of professional football, while Fletcher was an All-American in shot-put at Allegheny College.
“It’s been a lot of fun getting to know Reb as a new member to the community and as a coach,” said McDuffee. “I’ve enjoyed learning more about her coaching style and philosophy. In many ways, we’re similar, but I think I’ve learned a great deal. In particular, she’s very intentional in making sure the players have a voice on the team and develop their leadership skills. It’s obvious she puts a lot of time and thought into her practice plans and team cultural expectations.”
Brooks, who lives on campus with her husband Dolph Clinton, Brewster's Institutional Leadership Director, and their Dalmatian pup, entered her eighteenth year of coaching with Brewster. She spent the previous 15 years at Pomfret School in Connecticut, and the two years at Tufts University prior to that. In her time as head coach at Pomfret, Brooks led the team to three class B championship wins in 2010, 2015, and 2018.
“It’s been great. The girls at Brewster are tough and very hard-working,” Brooks said. “In the past I’ve had to think of drills that would push my team’s toughness by forcing them to be physical or forcing them to have to dive on the floor and push past their comfort levels. I haven’t needed one of these drills here. You roll the ball out for this group and tell them to play, and they play. They’re competitors.”
Brooks hopes to continue the success she had in coaching at Pomfret here at Brewster.
“It’s really nice that I get to coach with an experienced player and coach in Kara. We complement each other well,” Brooks said. “She was a guard and I was a forward. We see things the same and we see them differently—and that’s great for thinking of ways to bring the very best out of this group.”
In terms of moving forward, Brooks seemed optimistic and excited to get into the bulk of the season.
“We started the season off with some really strong competition. We actually have yet to play another Class C school,” Brooks said. “I am excited to start playing some class games as I think the girls will get to see where they stand with their competition, and we will be competitive.”
Brooks and the Girls’ Varsity Basketball team will be back in action January 18 at Kimball Union and Jan 22 at home against Phillips Exeter, looking to build on their strong start.
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