A former player under Lewis University women’s basketball head coach Kristen Gillespie will now sit aside Gillespie at Illinois State.

Mariyah Brawner-Henley will join the Redbirds as an assistant coach, Gillespie announced Thursday.

“I couldn’t be more excited to have Mariyah join our staff,” Gillespie said, “I had the honor of coaching Mariyah and I know first-hand that she is an intense competitor who will be a great role model for our young women.”

Lewis made it to the NCAA Division II Tournament all four seasons that Brawner-Henley played there and won a GLVC Championship.

"Mariyah will bring the same work ethic, passion and enthusiasm to our staff that led her to become a three time All-American," Gillespie said. 

She won Great Lakes Valley Conference Player of the Year and All-America honors in her senior season under Gillespie.

Brawner-Henley holds school records at Lewis with 1,981 points and 1,282 rebounds. 

She finished her career with 72 career double-doubles and a 106-12 record.

“Coach Gillespie came in during my senior season and it was the best experience,” Brawner-Henley said, “she has a lot of passion for the game and I’m extremely excited to continue to learn from her.”

With a bachelor’s degree in Sport Management from Lewis, she spent last year at Northern Illinois University in the pursuit of a master’s in business administration.

She also served as graduate assistant for the Huskies women’s basketball team under another former Lewis head coach Lisa Carlsen.

“I have a lot of respect for both Coach Gillespie and Coach Carlsen and having the opportunity to work with both of them is truly an honor,” Brawner-Henley said.

The Evanston, Ill native’s plan is to complete her MBA at ISU.

KADE HEATHER is a Sports Editor for The Vidette. He can be contacted at kfheat1@ilstu.edu. Follow him on Twitter at @kade_heather

(1) entry


Good luck to her!

Sign the guestbook.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.