Up Close with William Middlebrooks

William Middlebrooks, a grassroots basketball impresario with championship pedigree, was introduced to The Oaks on April 1, 2024.

Middlebrooks comes to Lincoln University after nineteen seasons as a high school and grassroots head basketball coach as well as athletic administrator in Southern California. His coaching stops include seven (7) years at Ribet Academy, twelve (12) years at Cathedral High School and one (1) year at Riverside Notre Dame, while simultaneously coaching his prep school program at Middlebrooks Academy for the last thirteen (13) years. On the grassroots front, he has been a head coach and now Co-Director for the Compton Magic, who earned the 2018 National Championship.

During the 2023-24 season, Middlebrooks coached the Varsity programs at both Cathedral High School and Riverside Notre Dame simultaneously (most believe this is a first in CIF history), while coaching the Middlebrooks Academy squad. He won regular season conference titles with both Riverside Notre Dame and Middlebrooks Academy. Middlebrooks squad also won the conference tournament title with Riverside Notre Dame and was Runner-Up in the conference tournament with Middlebrooks Academy. He took Riverside Notre Dame to the Final 4 of the CIF playoffs and advanced to the first round of the State tournament.

“The key to our sustainable success has been the culture we are committed to,” Middlebrooks said. “We are very intentional about building genuine relationships with all stakeholders. We mesh that with a sound process and core values to yield repeatable success. When I look at the unique opportunity that presents itself at Lincoln University, there is a tremendous opportunity to build on the foundation laid by the Athletic Director and my predecessor. I can literally see where we are headed and excited to be an Oaklander!”

Though 2024-25 will mark his rookie season as a college coach, Middlebrooks has notched wins at the collegiate level with his Middlebrooks Academy prep team. In 2023-24 his prep team logged wins versus LA Trade Tech and Cal Lutheran. In 2022-23 his prep team also posted wins versus college teams, which included University of Antelope Valley and Hope International. Also of note, since 2015 his Middlebrooks Academy program has won seven (7) PEC-6 Conference Championships (2015-20, 2024).

A 10-time Coach of the Year, Middlebrooks has injected winning into each program he has coached. Taking over a struggling Ribet Academy program during the 2005-06 campaign, the Fighting Frogs immediately went to the CIFSS Playoffs Championship game that year, losing by only 1 point and advancing to the State tournament. Taking over Cathedral High School, they went from back to back losing seasons to gaining a playoff berth in Year 1 and rising to the #1 ranked team in their Division during Year 2, earning a trip to the prestigious CIFSS Open Division. In Year 1 at Notre Dame, the program went from back to back 5 win losing seasons to a 23-9 year advancing to the CIFSS Playoffs Semifinals and State tournament, while winning the league championship.