Brianna Sims has been the head coach of the women’s basketball team here at the University of Dallas for the past four years. Alongside scenes of dedication, hard-work and victories on the court, Sims has a growing family of a young daughter and another on the way.
Sims has integrated her family into her work, allowing players to engage with both her first and second daughters — celebrating life, victory and womanhood together. Sims brought up many fond memories regarding her family and the team.
“Last season, when we would have timeouts and the game would be going on, I would look back at my daughter,” Sims said. “One time, she’s reaching through that gate we have on the bleachers, out to the players, and everybody’s high fiving her. That’s probably my favorite memory I have.”
Sims has also invited her players to engage with her second daughter during her pregnancy and to celebrate her life together. The players betted on the gender of the baby, which was revealed later with the team.
Tessa Hastings, a freshman business major and #21, recounted the gender reveal party they celebrated together.
“We did her baby shower,” Hastings said. “[It] was really cute because we all got these little confetti poppers and it popped pink and everyone went crazy. It was really fun.”
Carolin Croft, a freshman biology major and #11, reflected on the general effect of being a part of Sims’ pregnancy towards the team.
“It helps us connect on more of a personal level instead of just being our coach,” Croft added. “It was fun, getting to guess whether it’s going to be a boy or girl and it adds more of that team bonding aspect. I guessed that it was a boy. It was a girl.”
Sims was grateful for the support from the team and the wider UD community. She reflected on her experience as a coach so far and looked to the future of her growing family with optimism.
“I get to give my will-be plural daughters the opportunity to grow up around amazing young female athletes and students,” Sims said. “We’ll be walking through campus and other students know who my daughter is. I think that’s pretty amazing and I look at what I’m doing as an opportunity to show not only my student athletes, but also young adults on our campus, that you can be a woman, you can grow your family, and you can still be successful in whatever it is that you choose to do.”
Hastings agreed with this sentiment. “I would just say, she’s a great role model, I think for all of us, not only as a coach, but also as a mother.”
Sims has allowed her work with female athletes and her own experiences as a mother to unite into a single focus. Her daughters get to grow up around hard-working female athletes, while her players learn new angles of what it means to be a mother and coach. Sims sets a great example of motherhood and dedication, both on and off the court.