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Appalachian State Women’s Basketball Adds Three to Staff

App State women’s basketball coach Alaura Sharp announced the hiring of Brooklyn Taylor and Caleb Thomas as assistant coaches as well as LaRomeo McKee as assistant coach & director of basketball operations on Monday.

“I am so thankful to announce our staff,” said head coach Alaura Sharp. “They are difference makers. I want to surround our players with great people who are willing and able to connect and develop young people. Each of them will bring a unique skill set that will be an immediate impact to our team. They are top notch recruiters and their work ethics are unmatched.

“Our staff is a family and we can’t wait to build another program together here in Boone. The community is going to fall in love with their energy and passion for App State Women’s Basketball.”

Taylor, Thomas and McKee worked with Sharp at Presbyterian during the Blue Hose’s historic 2023-24 season. The trio assisted in leading the Blue Hose to the program’s first Big South Tournament title and first appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Under their guidance, Presbyterian notched the program’s first NCAA victory and appearance in the second round, as well as a Division I-era record of 21 wins. During the 2023-24 season, Presbyterian shattered 10 team single-season records, including marks connected to scoring, assists, total rebounding, defensive rebounding and field goal percentage.

Presbyterian also garnered a pair of Second-Team All-Big South selections in Bryanna Brady and Tilda Sjökvist under the staff’s direction. Brady and Sjökvist each ended the season averaging team-high totals of 12.2 points per game. Brady led the team in rebounds (4.6 per game), while Sjökvist led the team in assists (3.5 per game). Sjökvist also earned a spot on the conference’s all-academic team.

Brooklyn Taylor | Assistant Coach
“I am honored and excited that Coach Sharp has given me this opportunity to join the App State family,” Taylor said. “I love the goals and the vision of the athletic department and am excited to recruit high level student-athletes to this beautiful campus. I believe in Coach Sharp’s vision, and I know the App State fan base is going to love it.”

Taylor joins the Mountaineers’ staff after two seasons on Sharp’s staff at Presbyterian. Prior to her time at Presbyterian, Taylor spent one season at her alma mater, St. Francis (Pa.) University, where she worked with post players, including Jada Dapaa, who led the Northeast Conference in rebounds and ranked fourth in the nation with an average of 12.3 per game.

Taylor also has made coaching stops at Akron and Mercer. While at Akron, Taylor coordinated video, worked with the shooting guards, assisted in the Zips’ defensive strategy, and helped with recruiting/social media efforts. She also oversaw the team’s graduate assistant and video coordinator positions. While at Mercer, Taylor was a graduate assistant for the Bears, who went 30-3, clinched a SoCon tournament title, and were NCAA tournament bound. On the day-to-day, Taylor assisted the coaching staff with game film preparation, scouting reports, and workouts. She also oversaw the hiring and organization of the team’s student managers. The Bears went 30-3 in her time at Mercer and clinched a SoCon Title and ticket to the NCAA Tournament.

In 2016, Taylor participated in the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association’s “So You Want to Be a Coach” program at the Final Four, a program that helps assist young women aspiring to become coaches. Taylor was also invited to speak on the Rookie Coaches Panel at the 2019, 2021 and 2022 “So You Want to Be a Coach” events.

Taylor earned her master’s degree in higher education leadership from Mercer in 2018 and earned her bachelor’s of science in exercise physiology from St. Francis in 2016. Additionally, Taylor was a member of St. Francis’ Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and Student-Athlete Mentors (SAMS) program.

Caleb Thomas | Assistant Coach
“I am honored to work with Coach Sharp once again at App State,” Thomas said. “Her leadership, character, and competitive spirit are unmatched. App State is an incredible place with a winning standard from top to bottom. The vision of Coach Sharp, matched with the spirit of excellence in athletics, makes me excited to be a part of something special in the mountains.”

Thomas joined Sharp’s staff at Presbyterian for the 2023-24 season. Before his time in Clinton, S.C, he spent two seasons as a graduate assistant at Louisiana Tech, where he earned a master’s in health informatics. While with the Bulldogs, Thomas focused on film evaluation, scouting reports, and recruiting He also spent time as a player development assistant and helped prepare social media content for various accounts. Thomas helped guide the Bulldogs to a 2021-22 West Division Title in Conference USA and the most league wins in program history.

Thomas attended Carroll University, where he was a member of the basketball team as a combo guard while studying healthcare administration. While at Carroll, he was an admissions ambassador, mentorship liaison and dean’s list scholar. He finished his undergraduate studies at Louisiana Tech and received a bachelor’s in health informatics.

With his background in health informatics, Thomas piloted a state-licensed respite center in Monroe, La., during the COVID-19 pandemic. He led weekly business expos for students ages 7-12 to sell toys, apparel, and food created by students and facilitated weekly talent shows. In addition to teaching, Thomas also worked to sustain students’ school curriculum with remote learning centers and Chrome book distribution throughout schools.

LaRomeo McKee | Assistant Coach & Director of Basketball Operations
“I am thrilled to be joining the App State athletics family, and I am extremely humbled and grateful for Coach Sharp inviting me to be a part of the program,” McKee said. “The chance to come over to Boone and start something special with this staff and team was an opportunity of a lifetime.The App State athletics department has welcomed me graciously, and I cannot wait to contribute to the mission and success of Mountaineers Women’s Basketball.”

Prior to his time at Presbyterian, McKee served as a graduate assistant for the University of Mobile women’s basketball team. He also made a stop as an assistant coach at Petal High School and helped guide the team to back-to-back MHSAA playoff appearances.

While earning a bachelor’s degree at Southern Miss, McKee held the title of head team manager and oversaw all student managers, handled inventory control of athletic gear, and assisted in the coordination of team travel on game days.

McKee earned an associates degree of arts from East Central Community College, a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies from Southern Miss and a master’s degree in higher education leadership & policy in 2022 from the University of Mobile.