A three-time Atlantic Sun Conference champion as a head coach, Lynn Bria is in her ninth season at the helm of Stetson women's basketball program.
Over the past six seasons Bria has turned the Hatters into a formidable force in the Atlantic Sun. She has guided the Hatters to two conference titles, two NCAA Tournament appearances, three WNIT bids, and six consecutive 20+ win seasons. In fact, Stetson is just one of three schools in the state of Florida to post as many as 137 victories since the start of the 2010-11 season.
In 2015-16, Stetson won 20 games for the sixth year in a row despite not having any seniors on the squad. The Hatters also qualified for the WBI and earned their second NCAA postseason victory with a 89-54 win over McNeese State.
Brianti Saunders set the school single-game record with 40 points vs. Georgia State, and came within 11 points of tying the single-season scoring record. She was named first team all-conference, while Breana Bey was named second team all-conference and A-Sun Tri-Newcomer of the Year. McKenna Beach was named A-Sun Freshman of the Year.
Stetson posted its fifth straight 20-win season in 2014-15, compiling a 23-8 record overall. The Hatters won 11 non-conference games for the time ever, and the 23 wins overall tied for the third-winningest season in school history. Three Hatters were named First-Team All-Conference for the second year in a row, including the league's Defensive Player of the Year Amber Porter.
In 2013-14 and for the third year in a row, the Hatters set a school-record for most victories in a single-season with 27. Stetson also won a school-record 16 conference games and won a school-record 16 consecutive contests during the regular season. The Hatters also earned their second-ever bid to the WNIT and the program's first-ever NCAA postseason victory, a 70-63 win at Miami on Mar. 20. Stetson had three players named First Team All-Conference, including A-Sun Freshman of the Year Amber Porter.
The 2012-13 season was one for the history books as the Hatters set numerous team records for success and captured their second A-Sun title in the past three seasons. Bria helped lead the Hatters to a school-record 24 wins overall, a 12-1 record at home, a school-record 14 wins in conference play, and winning streaks of 11 straight overall and 16 in a row at home. In the A-Sun Championship game, Stetson rallied from a 15-point second-half deficit to defeat top-seeded and previously undefeated FGCU 70-64, and then earned their highest-ever NCAA Tournament seed (14) and an appearance in the Columbus, Ohio regional against UCLA.
In 2011-12, the Hatters won a school record 23 games and advanced to the postseason for the second year in a row, participating in the WNIT for the first time in school history. Three players earned All-Atlantic Sun honors including A-Sun Player of the Year and All-Tournament Team selection Victoria McGowan, who led the nation with three triple-doubles. Also honored were Second Team All-Atlantic Sun forward Sasha Sims and A-Sun All-Freshman Team forward Cherisse Burris.
Bria's 2010-11 Hatters won 20 games for the first time in 10 seasons, captured their third Atlantic Sun Conference tournament championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in school history and first time since 2005.
Stetson's turnaround under Bria from 6-24 to 20-13 (+12.5 games) was the second largest improvement in NCAA Division I women's basketball. Honors that came to members of the team included A-Sun Tournament MVP (Victoria McGowan), A-Sun All-Tournament Team (Tierra Brown, Sasha Sims), Second Team All-Atlantic Sun (McGowan), A-Sun All-Freshman Team (Sims), A-Sun Player of the Week (Natasha Graboski) and A-Sun Newcomer of the Week (McGowan twice, Sims). Graboski went on to sign a professional contract with Alexandria of Romania's Division 1 League in the summer of 2011.
In 2009-10 Bria led the Hatters to their seventh consecutive A-Sun tournament appearance. The highlight of the season was a December 16 victory over USC Upstate, which would go on to finish as a 20-win team, that led to forward Jessica Conner receiving A-Sun Player of the Week honors.
In her first season at Stetson, Bria coached the Hatters to eight victories, including the program's first victory against an RPI Top 100 opponent (FGCU, 12/4/08) in the 10 years since online data has been kept. She also made an immediate impact on the recruiting trail as her 2009-10 incoming class was ranked by Michael T. White's noted scouting service All-Star Girls Report as the best in the Atlantic Sun Conference and in the top third of all NCAA Division I teams.
Bria has coached women’s basketball for 24 years with 18 seasons of Division I head coaching experience to her credit at UCF, Ohio University and Stetson. In addition to coaching, she has extensive classroom experience at the university level and is committed to developing young women both athletically and academically.
Prior to joining the Hatters, Bria spent the previous two seasons as an assistant coach at top-level programs West Virginia (2006-07) and most recently the University of Miami. Her excellent recruiting skills led to the Hurricanes signing a Top 25 incoming class according to recruiting experts at HoopGurlz.com. With WVU, Bria served as recruiting coordinator in addition to her on-court coaching duties. Her leadership helped the Mountaineers achieve one of their best seasons in school history, which featured an at-large bid to and second round appearance in the NCAA Tournament as well as the second-largest turnaround in W-L record in Big East Conference history (15-16 to 21-11 overall and from 4-12 to 11-5 in Big East games).
From 1999-2006, Bria was the head coach at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. She is second all-time in career wins at Ohio and was the first coach in Bobcats history to sign a recruit that would become Mid-American Conference Freshman of the Year. Bria’s first-year players earned MAC All-Freshman honors three consecutive years; only seven other players in the 20+ year history of the program had done that. In addition to coaching, Bria also taught a class in the Education department.
Prior to taking the position at Ohio, Bria led old Stetson nemesis UCF for three seasons from 1996-99. Her final Golden Knights team in 1998-99 was the TAAC (now Atlantic Sun) regular season and tournament champions and appeared in the NCAA Tournament. For her efforts, Bria was named the 1998-99 TAAC Coach of the Year. In just three seasons, she ranked second in career wins at UCF and was 6-1 against the Hatters.
Bria’s first head coaching position came at Division II Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas for three seasons from 1993-96. At the age of 24, Bria was the fourth-youngest head coach in the country when she was hired. She coached the team, coordinated fundraising and taught in the Kinesiology department in addition to serving on the NCAA Division II Tournament regional selection committee. Her Pioneer squads won more games each year of her tenure than the one previously.
Her first three years out of college at the University of Charleston (W. Va.) were spent on the coaching staffs at Marshall (where she obtained her Master’s degree in 1992) and Radford, where she helped lead the Highlanders to the Big South regular season and tournament titles in 1992-93.
A standout performer for the Charleston Golden Eagles, the Class of 1990 graduate was inducted into her alma mater’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003. She scored 1,146 points in her career, averaging 10.3 points per game and was a 75.3 percent free throw shooter over her career.
A member of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Bria is an avid runner who has completed three marathons. The native of Charleston, W. Va. has had her high school jersey retired by Charleston Catholic High School.