DeVos Alumnus Brian Hoff ‘Going Hard in the Paint’
By Camille Dolan ’98
Basketball season may be officially over, but for Brian Hoff ’10MBA ’11MSBM, fresh off his team’s trip to the state 3A high school championships, there is no down time.
Hoff, assistant athletic director and head boys’ basketball coach for Windermere Prep in Orlando, has tasted success in each of the past four seasons. Hoff led the Lakers to a school record 27 wins in the 2019-20 season and the program’s fourth district championship. He has led the Lakers to two more district championships the past two seasons. Hoff was named the Florida Athletic Coaches Association District 11 Coach of the Year in four consecutive seasons from 2018-19 to this season.
In this year’s championships, his Lakers fell to the Riviera Prep Bulldogs in Windermere’s first showing in the state finals since 2016.
“Riviera Prep proved to be the better team,” Hoff says of the March 4 title game. “However, I am still extremely proud of our team. Over the course of this year, the group defied odds, and it takes a lot of togetherness and competitiveness to get this far.”
Prior to taking over the Lakers’ program, Hoff served for six seasons as the Associate Head Coach at Providence School in Jacksonville, where the Stallions won 157 games with only 28 losses and were ranked in the top 25 nationally.
Throughout his coaching tenure, Hoff has had the opportunity to mentor 32 student-athletes who have gone on to play collegiate basketball and was named Assistant Coach for the East team in the prestigious McDonald’s All-American Game in 2017.
In addition to his administration and coaching role at Windermere Prep, Hoff currently leads the Orlando Basketball Academy (OBA) where they train youth basketball players in 1st-8th grade. He founded the organization in 2018 upon taking the head coaching position at Windermere Prep. The OBA specializes in training programs for children who want to be the next great middle school and high school players.
Winning a game feels good in the moment, Hoff says, but a coach must also instill other values within players to help them grow into productive adults.
It’s lessons Hoff himself learned as a youngster. He grew up in Jacksonville and played at Arlington Country Day. He credits his coach, the late Rex Morgan, for his success in high school; the team won a state championship during Hoff’s senior year.
Morgan, who died in 2016, had played for the Boston Celtics, and was a head coach in the United States Basketball League for 14 seasons.
“Coach Morgan believed in all of us on the court,” Hoff says, “But he also told us that we needed to have a life outside of basketball. He told us that it was important for us to learn traits through basketball that would help us become great at other things, whether it was becoming a great father, a great husband, just using the traits we learned to help us in other areas of our life.”
After high school, Hoff was recruited to play basketball at FSU as a “preferred walk-on.” After his first three years on the team, he earned a scholarship and was named captain in his senior year.
“I grew in the team, earning more playing time each year,” Hoff says. By his senior year in 2009, FSU had earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
Hoff was a finance major at FSU, and as he looked for his next steps after graduation, he discovered UCF’s DeVos Sport Business Management Program, a competitive and rigorous program that incorporates UCF College of Business core classes, unique sport business classes and other specialized classes that emphasize the social impact of sport.
“It’s one of the best, most well-respected programs in the country for sports business management,” Hoff says. “A lot of the students in my cohort were former college athletes, so that contributed to fostering a team-like atmosphere. Even today, there are about 15 of us from my cohort who are still in a group text and talk nearly every day.”
Hoff and his wife, Amy, have three children; the two older ones, 7 and 5, appear to have taken to basketball. Their youngest child, 1, just recently mastered walking, and is already shooting baskets on a toddler hoop.
“I coach the older ones, and it’s a lot of fun,” Hoff says. “The 7-year-old especially loves to come to the games, and if they can’t come to the game, they’re at home watching the game on TV.”
If their love of basketball continues, Hoff says he hopes that he can continue to coach them, and instill within them not only dribbling, defending and rebounding skills, but also the lessons he has learned throughout the years.
“I have learned that mentoring kids every single day is meaningful to me. I want them to have big dreams within the game, but also to learn that the values and traits that you pick up while playing are just as important, because the ball stops bouncing for everyone at some point,” Hoff says. “I’m grateful for my past and where I’ve been, both at UCF and FSU, and for all the coaches that have helped me to become a better coach, and a better husband and father.”