Original article (Burks-Wiley Named Head Coach for FIU Women’s Basketball) on Florida International University’s athletic website fiusports.com.
Jesyka Burks-Wiley has been named the head coach of the FIU women’s basketball program, FIU Executive Director of Sports and Entertainment Pete Garcia announced on Friday. Burks-Wiley becomes the eighth head coach for the FIU women’s basketball program.
“We’re thrilled to announce the hiring of Jesyka Burks-Wiley as the next head coach of our women’s basketball team,” Garcia said. “She is bringing a fast paced, high pressure, exciting style of basketball to our program. Her coaching acumen, along with this style of basketball, will be a winning formula for FIU women’s basketball. I would also like to thank Senior Associate Athletic Director Heath Glick for leading the search.”
Burks-Wiley joins the Panthers after spending the past three seasons as an assistant coach with the South Florida Bulls. FIU will be the sixth coaching stop for Burks-Wiley, as the former professional forward has spent time at Nebraska-Omaha (2012-13), UMass-Lowell (2013-14), Brown (2014-16), Boston College (2016-17) and USF (2017-20).
“I am extremely excited and grateful for the opportunity to be the head coach at FIU,” said Burks-Wiley. “The amount of untapped potential at FIU is extremely encouraging. I look forward to showing the FIU community how exciting FIU women’s basketball will be going forward. I’m looking forward to getting back on the floor with our ladies and actively building toward our future.”
During her three seasons on Jose Fernandez’s staff at USF, Burks-Wiley and the Bulls won 64 games and earned two postseason berths with a trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2018 and the WNIT in 2019. The highlight year for Burks-Wiley and the Bulls came in her first season on the staff, as USF went 26-8 in 2017-18. The 26 wins for USF were the third-most of Fernandez’s 20-year tenure.
“I could not be any prouder and more excited for Jesyka,” Fernandez said. “I have a great deal of respect and admiration for Athletic Director Pete Garcia and the job he has done with FIU athletics and giving her the reigns for the basketball program. As a graduate 94′ from FIU, the women’s basketball program is a sleeping giant. There is so much opportunity and potential for Jesyka to lead the women’s basketball program in C-USA. To compete at the national level and for a conference championship. The area is a hot bed for recruiting. I believe in her experience and ability to engage and lead young women academically and athletically. She will prepare them for life after FIU and bring an unbelievable excitement on campus. Her attitude and energy level is contagious. It’s a great day to be a Panther.”
Burks-Wiley spent two seasons at Brown University as an assistant coach and director of player development. While at Brown, Burks-Wiley worked closely with the Ivy League’s unanimous Rookie of the Year, Shayna Mehta, whom she recruited from San Francisco. In her first season at Brown, Burks-Wiley helped the Bears finish second in the Ivy League in scoring (65.5 points per game) and first in the league in steals (10.1 per game). She coached a pair of All-Ivy players in Sophie Bikofsky ’15 and Jordin Alexander ’16 while helping the Bears notch their first road sweep of Harvard and Dartmouth since Feb. 26-27, 1993.
Burks-Wiley spent the 2013-14 season as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at UMass-Lowell, helping the Riverhawks’ transition into full-time Division I athletics. Prior to Lowell, Burks-Wiley joined the Nebraska-Omaha staff as an assistant for the 2012-13 season, guiding the Mavericks to a 17-11 record overall in only their second year of Division I play.
A 2009 graduate of Boston University, Burks-Wiley boasted a standout career for the Terriers, becoming one of only eight players to record 1,000 points and 500 rebounds in their career. A stellar final campaign saw the co-captain average 17.9 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, propelling her to America East Player of the Year honors and a Region I finalist for the 2009 State Farm Coaches’ All-America Basketball Team.
The Kansas City, Missouri, native took her talents overseas after graduation, beginning with Romania ICIM Arad before making stops in the top leagues in Finland and Portugal. She concluded her professional career in Belgium, leading the Castor Braine squad to the second round of the league’s playoffs as the team’s leading scorer.