One of the best offensive minds in the country, Cori Close joined the Florida State women's basketball staff in May of 2004 and has been helping guide a nationally-prominent program ever since then.
As associate head coach, Close has fine-tuned the Seminoles' offense into one based on consistency and production. One area that has seen a dramatic improvement is the point guard position as FSU's floor leaders have dished out over 2,000 assists the past six seasons since Close's arrival. During the 2009-10 season, Courtney Ward posted a school-record 198 assists; shattering the previous school-high of 180.
A more efficient offense has allowed for more open shots and a higher shooting percentage. Florida State has shot at least .418 from the field the last six seasons. Behind the three-point line the Seminoles have shot .308 or better five years in a row.
Last season, FSU was deadly from behind the arc as the team drained a school-record 212 triples while making 38 percent of the shots from that distance.
As offensive coordinator, Close is responsible for developing the offensive schemes that best suit FSU's personnel. Her ability to prepare information and disseminate it to the players has been a perfect recipe for success. In addition to her coaching responsibilities, Close is instrumental in recruiting while also working closely with the FSU athletics marketing department in their efforts to promote the program.
Close moved cross-country to Florida to join the FSU program after she had spent nine seasons at UC-Santa Barbara , including three years as associate head coach. A demanding, detail-oriented and offensive-minded coach, she has proved to be the perfect complement to head coach Sue Semrau and her staff.
While at UC-Santa Barbara, Close had the opportunity to expand her knowledge with a wide variety of responsibilities throughout her tenure. Some of her duties included overseeing the skill development of the players, on-court offensive coaching, recruiting and scheduling for the program. Under Close's coordination, UCSB's non-conference slate turned into one of the nation's most challenging each year.
As UCSB's player development coordinator, Close significantly contributed to the mentoring, nurturing and motivating of the student-athletes which led to such achievements as a 98 percent graduation rate, seven WNBA players, 15 professional players overseas, 12 Big West Conference MVPs, nine district All-Americans and one national second team All-American. Close was also responsible for all offensive tactics, offensive instruction and game-time decisions leading to eight NCAA appearances, including three second round appearances and a trip to the Sweet 16, one NIT championship and 10 Big West regular season or tournament championships. Close also helped UCSB achieve three Top 10 recruiting classes.
Close was also instrumental in fostering support and increasing revenue for the UCSB basketball program. She developed and implemented a comprehensive marking plan, designed fundraising initiatives, coordinated speaking, community service and radio/television appearances and created the Fastbreakers booster program. Her efforts resulted in a substantial attendance increase, which made UCSB women's basketball the largest revenue-producing program in the department of athletics.
As a player, Close was a four-year starting point guard and captained Santa Barbara's two NCAA Tournament teams in 1992 and 1993, leading both to the second round. The Milpitas, Calif. native was an All-Big West first team selection and the MVP of the conference tournament in 1993. The first player in UC-Santa Barbara history to record more than 1,000 points and 500 assists in a career, Close ranked among the top 10 in seven Gaucho career statistical categories.
Close graduated from UCSB in 1993 after majoring in sociology and was the recipient of UCSB's Distinguished Senior Award. She was a member of the UCLA Bruins' coaching staff for two seasons (1993-95) while earning a Master's Degree in educational administration from UCLA. On April 30, 2005, Close was inducted into the UCSB Athletics Hall of Fame.