Head Coach - 9th Season
Brase (pronounced BRA-zee), the 2012-13 Midwest Conference Coach of the Year, enters his ninth season at the helm after a historical 2012-13 run that culminated with Cornell's first appearance in the NCAA Division III Tournament.
Brase's 2012-13 team, picked to finish eighth in the MWC preseason poll, turned those projections upside down and wound up claiming the program's first conference championship in more than three decades with a 17-1 mark.
The Rams captured the MWC Tournament title and advanced to the Round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament with a resounding 76-54 regional win over St. Scholastica. Cornell's record-setting ride ended in a 53-52 loss to St. Thomas in the second round. The Rams went 25-2 overall, shattering the old school mark of 18 wins. Cornell finished 16th in the final USA Today Sports Top 25 Coaches' Poll and 20th in the D3hoops.com Poll.
Brase's team started the season 15-0 and finished with 14 victories of at least 20 points. The Rams ranked among the Division III leaders in field goal percentage (third, 45.8), rebound margin (fourth, +12.6 rpg), assists (fourth, 17.7 apg) and won-loss percentage (ninth, 92.6).
The Rams landed three all-conference performers, led by MWC Player of the Year Camille Marie, who also garnered Fourth Team All-America accolades by D3hoops.com.
The Rams showed signs of turning the corner in 2011-12, going 10-15 and notching their first conference tournament win since 2000. That team had two all-conference honorees, led by freshman first-teamer Rikki Mulloy.
Brase, a 1990 Cornell graduate, has compiled an 80-120 record with the Rams. He spent 11 seasons coaching at Coe, where he left as the winningest men's coach in school history. Coe was 90-50 in Iowa Conference games his final seven seasons.
Before leading the Coe men's basketball program, Brase served as an assistant men's coach at both Cornell and Coe and as the head boys' basketball coach at Anamosa (Iowa) High School. Brase helped guide the 1990-91 Kohawks to a south division tournament berth and the 1993-94 Rams to the Midwest Conference Championship and the NCAA Division III tournament. In two years at Anamosa, Brase compiled a record of 27-13 and was named Big Bend Coach of the Year in 1991-92.
Brase is a 1986 graduate of Wapsie Valley (Iowa) High School and earned a bachelor's degree in physical education and secondary education from Cornell in 1990. He received a master's degree in physical education from the University of Iowa in 1992.
Brase's teams play stifling man-to-man defense and run on every make or miss. He has implemented defensive and offensive schemes to compliment one another by putting maximum pressure on the opponents for an entire game. In order to achieve this, his teams execute simple fundamentals at an extreme pace in practice - a pace their opponents haven't trained for and cannot handle mentally and physically during the duration of a game.
Brase and his wife, Ann, a 1990 Cornell graduate, live in Mount Vernon with their four children: Ella, 12, Owen, 10, Evan, 6, and Nora, 3.
"A Message From Coach Brase"
Basketball is a unique tool in the educational process. My goal as a coach is to make basketball one of the most educational experiences in my players' collegiate years. We want players who are committed to higher education, who have respect for what we believe in, who are positive representatives of the college and our basketball program and who have the ability and desire to compete for Iowa Conference and national championships.
It is our goal not only to have students graduate on time, but also provide them with experiences that go beyond basketball and the classroom. Experiences that will allow them to learn, mature and lead. We foster an environment that allows freedom for students to make decisions and the guidance for them to be able to make the right choices and to correct mistakes.
We believe that the ability to compete at an extraordinary level must be targeted in our recruiting efforts. We want players who have high expectations and a willingness to go after their dreams. The effort and attitude of an individual are just as important to us as their skills.
Our program is challenging and rewarding. We have high expectations for our team as people, students and players. The expectations of our staff will not only challenge students, but also serve to guide and support them.
After graduation, a basketball player is left with one thing from her involvement in a program - the "experience". The "experience" refers to the lessons and values learned, the personal relationships that develop and being a part of something larger than herself. This is an awesome opportunity and one that is often hard to duplicate in other areas of life.
Thank you for taking a serious look at Cornell College and our women's basketball program!