DePaul Women’s Basketball Staff Adds R’Keshia Smith

R’Keshia Smith brings an in-depth knowledge and strong familiarity with the DePaul women’s basketball program into her new role as Director of Basketball Operations.

Smith succeeds Bradley Bruno, who accepted a position as assistant coach at Southern Illinois-Edwardsville under new coach and former Blue Demon star Samantha Quigley Smith, younger sister of Chicago Sky WNBA All-Star Allie Quigley.

R’Keshia Smith spent three seasons working long hours as a manager on coach Doug Bruno‘s team—the last two as head manager. Bruno favors trusting his team managers with a myriad of responsibilities and training that ensures a successful career after graduation.

In her role from 2016 to 2019, R’Keshia assisted with practice and game-day operations, coordinated and scheduled team meetings, oversaw her crew of managers, organized and distributed equipment and assisted the director of operations.

She is a “Double Demon” with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing in 2017 and a master’s degree in Digital Communication and Media Arts last June.

What was her reaction when Bruno offered the position?

“It was a mix of emotions,” said Smith who is from Flint, Mich. “Part of me felt like—it was meant for me to go back to Chicago.

“Then there was the excitement of working in sports again. And, I was nervous. It’s a big responsibility for my first job and I don’t want to let anyone down.

“But I know with all the support I’ll have from the coaches preparing me, I’ll do a good job.”

She has worked as a sales associate with Nike and Under Armour, was a marketing and events intern at Playbook and a marketing intern at South Loop Strength and Conditioning.

She spent four summers working as an administrative assistant at the Doug Bruno Basketball Camp.

Smith was all-conference in track and field at Carman-Ainsworth High School in Flint, Mich., specializing in the 800-meter and mile runs. She was also a starting point guard on the girls’ basketball team.

“Working as the head basketball manager certainly helps with efficiency in getting things done,” Smith said. “You get really good at multitasking as people come up to you with all kinds of requests.

“You also learn pretty quickly how to deal with different types of personalities and how to manage different kinds of people.

“I know how Doug works and I know how the coaching staff works. That’s going to give me a leg up on approaching various situations that arise.”

Bruno is excited about his new addition.

“R’Keshia was one of the best student managers we’ve ever had and was responsible for so many behind-the scenes details that made players’ and coaches lives so much easier,” Bruno said.

“In my 48 years of coaching, managers have worked their way up and advanced to big-time jobs after developing a stellar work ethic and taking on limitless hours. Behind the scenes, they learn what it takes to excel in corporate America.

“Brandon Bailey went from a manager on the DePaul men’s and womne’s basketball teams all the way to assistant coach with the Boston Celtics. Mike Naughton was a women’s basketball manager who wound up as a vice-president with the then-St. Louis Rams.

“R’Keshia did a great job for us in her three years, and our new director of basketball operations will also have many detailed behind-the-scenes responsibilities. R’Keshia understands the program from the inside-out and is a natural fit for this job.”