Still fueled by their shortcoming a season ago, the No. 25/24 Florida State women's basketball team is back where it belongs in the NCAA Tournament and the Ivy League champions await in Waco, Texas Sunday night.
In order to ensure that everything is running smoothly away from the basketball court, Florida State needs a "coach" behind the scenes. Now in her ninth season with the FSU women's basketball program, Melissa Bruner has the daunting task of keeping everyone on the same page as Director of Basketball Operations.
A former collegiate head coach and a four-sport letterwinner in college, Bruner is able to deftly handle a wide range of responsibilities in all facets of the program. She coordinates all areas of team travel and is also in charge of facility usage and management of all practices and games.
She assists head coach Sue Semrau with scheduling and serves as the program's liaison with the athletics department's administration. Bruner oversees the equipment operations for the program and assists with the Seminole girls' summer camps.
In addition to her administrative duties with the program, Bruner is also in her eighth season working as the color analyst for the radio broadcast of all FSU women's basketball games.
Bruner came to Florida State after serving four seasons as assistant athletics director and head women's basketball coach at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The Kohawks reached the IIAC Tournament all four years of her tenure and advanced to the quarterfinals in her final season.
Bruner's players earned six all-conference honors. Bruner and Semrau previously worked together for two seasons at the University of Wisconsin-Madison while Semrau was an assistant coach.
Bruner was Director of Women's Basketball Operations for the Badgers for seven years where she assisted in public relations, team travel and practice arrangements. Prior to her duties at Wisconsin, Bruner earned a master's degree in physical education, with a concentration in athletic administration, from Ohio University in 1995. She received her business administration and accounting degree with a minor in physical education from Coe College in 1994.
As a Kohawk, Bruner earned Academic All-Midwest Conference honors in softball, basketball, tennis and volleyball.
In recognition for her athletic and academic achievements, she was named a national GTE Academic All-American her senior year of college.