A new era in Ball State women’s basketball began May 10, 2012, when Brady Sallee was named the 11th head coach in program history.
In 2013-14 Sallee guided the Cardinals to a thrilling run to the 2014 Mid-American Conference Tournament championship game, the Ball State women’s basketball team made its second-straight trip to the 2014 Women’s National Invitational Tournament and fifth overall in program history.
The Cardinals became postseason eligible by winning seven of its final eight games en route to advancing to the MAC Tournament championship game for the first time since winning it all in 2009. In the semifinals of the MAC Tournament, Ball State scored a thrilling 73-55 win over 25th-ranked Bowling Green. The Cardinals then lost to No. 3 Akron 79-68 in the title game.
Ball State had a seven-game winning streak heading into the MAC Tournament championship game, including tournament wins over No. 12 seed Kent State, No. 9 Northern Illinois, No. 4 Buffalo and No. 1 Bowling Green. Ball State is only the third team to ever win four games and the first team to ever play five in a single MAC Tournament. The Cardinals were also just the third No. 5 seed in league history to compete in the MAC Tournament title game.
Sallee, who was in his second season at Ball State, became only the second coach in program history to take the Cardinals to back-to-back WNITs. The last time it happened was 2001-02 and 2002-03 under former head coach Tracy Roller.
He led the Cardinals to an 18-17 overall record in 2013-14, with the 18 wins being the most in a season since the 2008-09 squad went 26-9. Sallee owns a 171-142 career head coaching record, including a 136-109 mark in eight seasons at Eastern Illinois.
In his first year at Ball State, Sallee helped the Cardinals reach the Final 16 of the 2013 Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT) with a roster featuring just seven healthy players over the final 11 games, and as few as six at one point in the season. The Cardinals ended the 2012-13 season with a 17-16 overall record.
After a few bumps and bruises in the first half of his debut season, Sallee helped Ball State post one of the most dramatic turnarounds in Mid-American Conference history as the Cardinals earned the No. 2 seed in the MAC Tournament with a 12-4 league mark. Under Sallee’s tutelage, Ball State improved eight games from its 4-12 MAC mark in 2011-12, which ties as the biggest MAC turnaround in the last 20 years. Sallee also became just the second coach in program history to start MAC play 8-1 in his or her first season.
Thanks to its strong effort in the last half of the regular season, which saw the Cardinals knock of eventual MAC Tournament Champion Central Michigan twice, Ball State earned its fourth appearance in the WNIT and first since the 2006-07 season.
Sallee’s Cardinals then pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the tournament with a hard-fought, 53-48 first-round victory at Big Ten foe Minnesota. Ball State continued its tournament run by knocking off Northern Iowa, 51-48, at Worthen Arena to win two WNIT games for the first time in program history.
For their efforts, freshman guard Nathalie Fontaine was named the MAC Freshman of the Year while senior guard Shanee’ Jackson was voted the MAC Sixth Player of the Year. Fontaine also earned recognition on the All-MAC Second Team and MAC All-Freshman team, while junior guard Brandy Woody was selected to the All-MAC Third Team.
During his tenure at Eastern Illinois, Sallee led the Panthers to the institution's first ever Ohio Valley Conference title during the 2009-10 campaign. In 2011-12, Eastern Illinois was 22-9 overall, posted a 13-3 OVC mark and competed in the Women's National Invitational Tournament.
In his last five seasons at EIU he guided the Panthers to 106 victories, which is the most ever by an EIU women's basketball team over a five-year span.
Sallee coached Eastern Illinois to back-to-back 20-win seasons in 2008-09 and 2009-10. His team won 24 games in 2008-09, which marked the first time a women's basketball team from EIU had accomplished that feat since 1987-88. He also coached the Panthers to three Women's National Invitational Tournament appearances from 2010-12.
Throughout his eight seasons at Eastern Illinois, he coached 17 all-conference selections which included three OVC Freshman of the Year honorees, along with the two-time OVC Defensive Player of the Year in 2010 and 2012.
Under his tutelage the EIU women's basketball program set a school record for free throws made in a season (595, 2009-10) and made three pointers (180, 2008-09) while also scoring 2,736 points as a team in 2009-10 which was the third most in school history.
Academically his student-athletes excelled in the classroom, as they earned four consecutive OVC Academic Achievement Awards along with posting the highest percentage of players on the Commissioner's Honor Roll from 2007-10. His teams have ranked nationally among women's basketball programs with high grade-point averages earning the seventh-best team GPA in 2007-08 with a 3.475. The Panthers also ranked ninth in 2008-09 and tenth in 2006-07.
Before his tenure at Eastern Illinois he was the top assistant at East Carolina in 2002-03. From 1996-2002 he helped Kent State, a fellow member of the Mid-American Conference, to five regular-season MAC Championships and three tournament titles. The Golden Flashes participated in the NCAA Tournament four of his seven years while posting a combined record of 155-56. He also was an assistant coach at Idaho State in 1994-95.
A native of Lexington, Ky., Sallee played collegiate baseball at Thomas More College from 1989-92. While at Thomas More, he served as a student assistant with the women's basketball team. Sallee earned his bachelor's degree in business administration in 1993.
Sallee and his wife Mandy have three children -- Avery, Taryn and Drew.