ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Newly appointed UCF women's basketball assistant coach Brett Fink is hardly new to the Knights' family. As the assistant director of operations last season, the UCF alum assisted with the daily operations of the program.
His wife, Keri, is just as well known around the basketball offices. Last year, Fink could always be found at his desk with a fresh plate of cookies, cakes, pies and any other savory morsels fresh from Keri's kitchen awaiting to be shared with anyone who walked by.
"I think that's the real reason I got the job -- the key lime pie," Fink said while cracking a smile.
Fink has immersed himself in basketball since the fourth grade when he picked up his first ball. In his coal-mining hometown of Wellston, Ohio, everyone grew up playing basketball and baseball. He went on to have a successful high school career as a self-proclaimed point-forward.
"Coach would say, `Go do this Fink,' and that's what I would go do. And then he would say, `Go do this other thing,' and that's what I would do," Fink said.
Fink attended Capital University, a Division III school in Columbus, Ohio, with the intent to continue his basketball career, but a back injury forced him out of the game. He decided to join the Navy and was stationed at the now-disestablished Naval Training Center in Orlando.
"It was probably the best decision I ever made in my life," Fink said of joining the Navy. "The things that I learned when I was in the Navy were things that I desperately needed to learn. I grew up a great deal through that experience."
Little did Fink know the experience would lead him to back to a career in basketball. It was here that Fink got his first taste of coaching. He pulled double duty as player and coach on his team that competed in the basketball leagues on the base. Eventually, he stopped playing and just focused on coaching his team of friends.
Just shy of three years in the Navy, Fink left the military branch for civilian life. He worked a number of odd jobs while his wife attended UCF to obtain her degree to pursue a career in teaching. When she graduated in 2001, it was Fink's turn to finish the schooling he set out to receive years ago in Columbus.
Fink first attended Brevard Community College and parlayed the experience into his first official coaching position as an assistant for the men's team while he attended school there for two years. He went on to UCF for two more years before earning his degree in psychology in 2003.
He spent the next seven years at Cocoa Beach Junior/Senior High School, managing all aspects of the middle school, ninth grade, junior varsity and varsity teams.
Fink believes his years of coaching on several different levels will help him adapt to his new position on staff, and he is eager to affect the lives of the student-athletes.
"My passion is teaching so that's the thing I'm most excited about," Fink said. "I am happy to have the opportunity to continue to teach them and show improvement and help them achieve what they want to achieve as young women, basketball players and students."