Andrea Gorski was introduced as the ninth women’s basketball head coach in Bradley’s history Monday, welcoming the already Bradley Hall of Fame player back to the Hilltop.
“I’m passionate about two things: basketball and family,” Gorski said, her two kids in attendance next to her. “Being able to come back and coach here is a dream come true.”
The introduction was held in the lobby of the Renaissance Coliseum and eventually moved upstairs for a press conference.
After brief introductions by University President Gary Roberts and Director of Athletics Chris Reynolds, Gorski laid out the goals she had for the program going forward.
Gorski said she wants to gain support from the community, reconnect with alumni and build a program based on personal responsibility and ownership.
“I want [Peoria] to be a women’s basketball town, too,” she said. “I want our program to be their program.”
During a press conference after the introduction, Gorski said Reynolds and Bradley’s institution were the top reasons she chose to leave her post at Southern Illinois.
Recruiting kids that want to go to high academic schools, that’s No. 1, that’s why I came here,” Gorski said. “[Reynolds’] vision, his leadership and to be at the beginning of that is really exciting.”
Gorski already comes to Bradley with head coaching experience, as she was the head coach of NAIA Concordia University from 2008 to 2013, and was the head coach at Ladywood high school in Livonia, Michigan, for 11 years.
She replaces former head coach Michael Brooks, who had a 37-84 record at Bradley.
Gorski said she also familiar with the team she’s inheriting at Bradley, as she was an assistant under Southern Illinois head coach Cindy Stein and scouted the Braves twice a year.
“I feel like I have a good feel of their strengths and weaknesses, and there’s a lot of strengths,” Gorski said. “We need to work on confidence a little bit, and that’s just through hard work.”
Gorski also said her game will focus a lot on the defensive side of the ball, along with player development off the court.
“I think it’s important you want to have a team that has a diversified skill set,” she said. “We spent a lot of time with player development [at SIU], and we really improved. It’s a lot of hard work, that’s for sure, but that’s what we really need to get the skill level up a little bit.”
Noting the talent the team already has, Gorski said she would be utilizing post players more.
Under Brooks, post players were used very seldomly in place of a more guard oriented offense.
“We have great young posts, I couldn’t be more ecstatic about our post players that are coming back,” Gorski said. “But, we’ve got to get more physical.”
Reynolds also took questions from the media and explained Gorski being a BU alum didn’t factor into her hiring, but was the “cherry on top.”
“If you look at her credentials and her background, it really speaks for itself,” Reynolds said. “I didn’t want to bring someone in who had to learn how to be a head coach.”
Reynolds, who said he went through 140 applicants for the job, stressed that Gorski’s experience as a player and assistant coach also set her apart.
“She paid her dues, which is important to me,” Reynolds said.