Brandon Schneider is entering his seventh season at the helm of the Kansas women’s basketball program. He became the sixth head coach to lead the Jayhawks when he was hired on April 20, 2015.
Schneider and the 2020-21 Jayhawks commenced the season with a home opening victory over Northern Colorado, 78-62, back on November 25, 2020. With the win, Kansas secured their fourth consecutive home opening victory inside Allen Fieldhouse. The sophomore duo of Zakiyah Franklin and Holly Kersgieter earned honorable mention recognition as a part of the Big 12 Conference Women’s Basketball Preseason Awards. Kansas posted 100-points in a dominating win over Oral Roberts back on December 6, 2020. This was the first time since December 12, 2013 that the Jayhawks reached this benchmark and the first 100-point game in the Schneider era. The game ranks 34th in the record book for KU Women’s Basketball 100+ point games.
Ioanna Chatzileonti was named the Big 12 Conference Freshman of the Week in back-to-back weeks. The honor is the first consecutive nod for Kansas since the conception of the accolade in 2009. It is the eighth all-time FOW honor for Kansas, with Brandon Schneider at the helm for three of those honors in Holly Kersgieter (2019) and Chatzileonti (Nov. 30 and Dec. 7). Chatzileonti is the first KU international player to receive FOW and to be selected twice. Mia Vuksic, freshman from Sibenik, Croatia, finished 8-of-14 from deep to finish with a career-high 24 points against Kansas State on February 13. The eight makes from long distance tie Charisse Sampson (1996) for the school record. The 14 attempts also tied a school record.
Kersgieter and Chatzileonti were selected to the 2020-21 Phillips All-Big 12 Awards. Kersgieter earned All-Big 12 honorable mention status with Chatzileonti on the Big 12 All-Freshman Team. The Jayhawks earned the No. 9 seed in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship and faced off against the No. 8 seeded Horned Frogs of TCU. Kansas concluded the 2020-21 season with a 7-18 mark overall and a 3-15 conference record. Five total student-athletes garnered Academic All-Big 12 recognition with several on the First Team and a pair on the Second Team. Chandler Prater, Aniya Thomas, and Kersgieter notched a spot on the First Team with Brooklyn Mitchell and Franklin on the Second Team.
Schneider coached Kansas to its best season in seven years during 2019-20. Kansas opened the season perfect after going 11-0, which led to the Jayhawks receiving votes in the Associated Press poll. Conference play was highlighted by victories over Texas Tech, Texas, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. The upset over Texas was a first since Jan. 23, 2013. Schneider guided KU to its first winning season since 2013 with a 15-14 overall record.
Schneider’s Jayhawks saw success in the classroom as well as on the court. Freshman Zakiyah Franklin made program history becoming the third Kansas women’s basketball student-athlete selected to the All-Freshman Team in the Big 12’s 24 seasons. Five Jayhawks collected Academic All-Big 12 honors with senior Niccolly Ramalho highlighting the group. Ramalho was one of four among the Academic All-Big 12 Women’s Basketball Team with a 4.0 grade point average. Senior Mariane De Carvalho, junior Bailey Helgren and sophomore Anyia Thomas were also first-team selections. Sophomore Brooklyn Mitchell was named to the second team. Ramalho also was a recipient of the Dr. Gerald Lage Academic Achievement Award, the Big 12’s highest academic honor.
In his fourth season, Schneider kicked off the 2018-19 slate with a 7-1 start, which led to the Jayhawks receiving votes in both the AP and USA Today Coaches polls, Kansas concluded nonconference action with a 10-1 record and a tournament title after winning the Duel in the Desert in Las Vegas.
Under Schneider’s guidance, two Jayhawks reached the 1,000-point plateau during the 2018-19 season. Both Kylee Kopatich and Jessica Washington recorded over 1,000 points in their careers.
Two Jayhawks received All-Big 12 honors in 2019 with the senior duo of Kopatich and Christalah Lyons being named to the honorable mention team. The selection marks Lyons’ second All-Big 12 honor in two seasons and the first of Kopatich’s four-year career. Off the hardwood, Kansas had four student-athletes garner Academic All-Big 12 honors, including three selected to the first team and one to the second team.
In 2017-18, Schneider and the Jayhawks opened the season with a seven-game winning streak, the best start for the program since the 2012-13 campaign. KU’s 7-0 start was just the beginning of another season of improvement under Schneider’s direction.
The Jayhawks not only increased their win total from a season ago but collected their first victory over a nationally-ranked opponent under Schneider and first since the 2014 campaign. Junior guard Christalah Lyons became the Jayhawk to earn Big 12 honors under Schneider’s guidance.
Throughout his third season as head coach, Kansas bettered its field goal percentage from 33.8 percent from a year ago to 38.3 percent this year. KU’s defense especially stood out in 2017-18, with Kansas’ scoring defense and field goal percentage defense ranking among the best in the Big 12 Conference and the nation during the season. The Jayhawks held their opponents to shooting 39.4 percent from the field this season, improving from the 43.3 percent they held their opponents to last season.
Kansas not only saw improvement on the court but in the classroom. Five Jayhawks received Academic All-Big 12 First Team honors, the most since 2015.
During his second season leading the Jayhawks, Schneider guided Jessica Washington, the first student-athlete he signed as KU’s head coach, to new heights in 2017-18. Washington, a transfer, became the first Jayhawk to earn Big 12 Newcomer of the Year honors. She led the league with 19.3 points per game during conference action, while averaging 17.1 points throughout the season.
Under Schneider’s leadership, four Jayhawks earned academic accolades at the conclusion of the 2016-17 season, the most honorees for Kansas since the 2009-10 season. In all, seven Jayhawks have been recognized for their efforts in the classroom since Schneider came to campus.
Schneider came to Kansas after a five-year stint at Stephen F. Austin, where he returned SFA to the top of the Southland Conference. SFA won back-to-back league titles in 2013-14 and 2014-15 and the Ladyjacks made three postseason appearances. As head coach at Stephen F. Austin, Schneider was 95-66 overall in five years and 57-29 in Southland Conference play.
During the 2014-15 season, Schneider guided the Ladyjacks to their second-straight Southland Conference title and a 23-8 overall record, marking the third time in his tenure that the SFA reached the 20-win plateau. Schneider was named Southland Coach of the Year after the Ladyjacks finished with a 16-2 league mark. Schneider mentored a handful of All-SLC Players during his time in Nacogdoches, including 2014-15 SLC Player of the Year Porsha Roberts, who was also a two-time Defensive Player of the Year.
The Ladyjacks finished the 2013-14 campaign with a 23-13 record and saw the team become the first in school history to win three games in a postseason tournament. SFA defeated Texas State and Boise State at home during the WBI and bested College of Charleston on the road to advance to the title game where SFA fell to Illinois-Chicago 73-64.
Schneider’s team overcame adversity en route to its first conference title since 2010 and its 16th in the Southland overall. The Ladyjacks had one returning starter go down with an injury during preseason workouts and lost another starter five games into conference play. After losing the first two games following the second injury, Schneider and his staff made adjustments to see the team go 9-2 to close the regular season, including winning the last six straight. SFA overcame a five-game deficit in the Southland standings to tie for the regular-season crown. Schneider guided the team to the championship game of the Southland Conference Tournament as well for the second time in his tenure. Awards came in for SFA in the 2013-14 season for Porsha Roberts.
Schneider saw his team’s top player win Southland Conference Defensive Player of the Year and become the all-time blocks leader in SFA history. Roberts averaged 17.0 points per game and shot an impressive 56.3 percent from the field. Her shooting percentage improved during league play where she hit 58.7 percent of her shots. Roberts was named first team All-Southland Conference and receive all-tournament honors during the WBI. Roberts averaged 22.5 points during the run to the championship game of the tournament.
The turnaround at SFA happened quickly for Schneider. In just his second season at SFA, he guided the Ladyjacks to the Southland Conference Tournament Championship and a 23-win season. It was the most wins by a Ladyjack team since the 2005-06 season when SFA also won 23 games and just the fifth 20-win season this decade. The increase in 11 wins from the 2010-11 season (12) to 2011-12 (23) was tied for the sixth-biggest turnaround in the nation.
Schneider also oversaw the development of the 2011-12 Southland Conference Freshman of the Year, Porsha Roberts, and SLC Newcomer of the Year, Ashlee Mells.
In his first full season as head coach of the Ladyjack basketball program, Schneider led SFA to a 12-18 overall record and a 9-7 mark in conference play. The Ladyjacks clinched a trip to the Southland Conference Championship Tournament and nearly pulled off an upset of No. 3 Central Arkansas in the first round before falling 64-58.
Schneider also oversaw the development of senior guard Tammara Marion, who was named to the All-Southland Conference second team, led the Ladyjacks and was fourth in the league averaging 16 points per game for the season along with 3.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists. She also set the single-season record with 72 made three-point shots. The Ladyjacks also led the conference in offensive rebounding with 16.8 per game.
Schneider entered his second year with high expectations after assembling a signing class that’s ranked 35th in the nation according to Premier Basketball Report, of which included four McDonald’s All-American Nominees.
Schneider was named head coach of the Ladyjacks on April 20, 2010. Recognized as one of the top names at the NCAA Division II level, Schneider went to Nacogdoches after a highly successful 12-year stint at Emporia State.
The Canyon, Texas native is the second all-time winningest head coach at the NCAA Division II level. At Emporia State, Schneider guided the Lady Hornets to a 306-72 (.810) record, and the 2010 NCAA Division II National Championship. The school’s all-time leader in wins and winning percentage, Schneider ranks among the all-time top 10 in fastest coaches to 100 victories, and third fastest among women’s basketball coaches.
Schneider spent 12 seasons at ESU guiding the Lady Hornets to 11 NCAA Tournament appearances. During that stretch, Schneider’s teams recorded two 30-win seasons and nine 20-win campaigns. Along with the 2010 national championship, Schneider coached ESU to four NCAA Division II South Central Regional titles, two Final Four appearances, six regular-season conference crowns and three league tournament titles.
Schneider made it tough on conference opponents during his time with the Lady Hornets winning 80 percent of those games. ESU posted a 173-43 (.801) record versus MIAA foes. The Lady Hornets were nearly unbeatable at home sporting a 143-14 (.917) record under Schneider. Schneider posted a 39-26 (.600) record against nationally-ranked opponents, which included four wins over No. 1 ranked teams, and was 21-10 (.677) in the NCAA Tournament.
Schneider was the first MIAA rookie head coach to win both the MIAA regular-season and tournament titles. In 2006, the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association of four-year colleges voted Schneider as its coach of the year. He was also a three-time MIAA Coach of the Year.
The 2010 Bulletin Women’s Basketball National Coach of the Year and the WBCA South Central Region Coach of the Year, Schneider’s players have reaped the rewards of his guidance. He has coached seven All-Americans, including two NCAA Division II Player of the Year selections, 13 first-team All-MIAA honorees, eight conference MVPs and seven players have gone on to play professionally, including one in the WNBA.
Schneider is well respected for being able to attract some of the nation’s top talent on the recruiting trail. During his time at Emporia State Schneider signed six NJCAA All-Americans and four high school All-Americans to play for the Lady Hornets.
Schneider was a 1995 honors graduate of Wayland Baptist. During his time at Wayland, Schneider was a four-year letterman in men’s basketball and was the school’s first-ever academic All-American, capturing the honor three times.
Schneider’s father, Bob, was one of the most successful women’s coaches at the NCAA Division II level, having served as the head coach at West Texas A&M from 1981-2006. They became the first father/son combination to take teams to the Elite Eight.
Schneider and his wife Ali, have two sons, Cash and Cole.
|THE SCHNEIDER FILE|
|Alma Mater: Wayland Baptist, 1995|
|Hometown: Canyon, Texas|
|Children: Cash & Cole|
|2015-Present, Kansas (Head Coach)|
|2010-15, Stephen F. Austin (Head Coach)|
|1998-2010, Emporia State (Head Coach)|
|1995-98, Emporia State (Assistant Coach)|
|1991-95, Wayland Baptist|