Shawn Poppie elevated to Associate Head Coach of women’s basketball program

Tech women’s basketball Head Coach Kenny Brooks announced the elevation of Shawn Poppie to Associate Head Coach of the program Thursday morning. Poppie had served as an assistant on the Hokies’ bench for each of the past four seasons, helping Tech to 20-win seasons in every campaign and training numerous players who have broken school records, earned All-Conference honors and gone on to the professional ranks. 
“I’m very excited to announce Shawn Poppie‘s promotion to Associate Head Coach,” Brooks said of the decision. “Shawn’s dedication and loyalty to me and this program have helped lay the foundation for success. With his help, Virginia Tech women’s basketball has positioned itself to become contenders on a national stage. Shawn’s knowledge of the game makes him one of the brightest minds in women’s basketball and I’m happy to continue on this journey with him.”
Poppie’s elevation in responsibilities is the final change to the 2020-21 coaching staff, after the Hokies have added two new assistant coaches to the bench in Christal Caldwell and Lindsey Hicks

He joined the Virginia Tech staff as assistant coach in July 2016 as Coach Brooks assembled his first staff in Blacksburg. A point guard in his playing days, he works primarily with the Hokies’ backcourt and has played a role in developing some of the most dynamic talents in program history at the guard position. Five of Poppie’s pupils rank in the top 10 in school history in 3-point shooting, including Vanessa Panousis (first) and senior Aisha Sheppard (second). 

“I’m extremely grateful for Coach Brooks,” Poppie said regarding his promotion. “To give me an opportunity, a title of Associate Head Coach, but to be truly honest what I am grateful for is to have a mentor – not only as a women’s basketball head coach, but as a family man, a husband, a father, a friend. I get to learn from him on a daily basis on all of those things.
We got here four years ago, I’m so excited about where we’ve come, but I’m more excited about where it’s going. I’m just blessed and honored to play a small part in where it’s going. It’s exciting times and I am really looking forward to having the opportunity to work side-by-side with Coach Brooks and this staff and these players as we continue to move this thing forward.”

Sheppard was a First Team All-ACC selection in 2020 following the footsteps of teammate Taylor Emery who earned the honor a year prior. In 2019, Emery became the first Virginia Tech player to earn First Team All-ACC accolades at the close of a stellar two-year career where she broke the single season school scoring record and finished with 1,313 points. She owns the two highest single-season scoring totals to accompany her two chart-topping field goals made totals.

Four former Hokie guards trained by Poppie have found success in the professional ranks since graduating; Sami Hill, Panousis, Emery and Taja Cole.

Poppie came to Blacksburg after a three-year stint at Furman University, most recently in the role of Associate Head Coach. During his time in Greenville, he helped the Paladins to a pair of trips to the postseason. In 2016, the Paladins advanced to the semifinals of the SoCon tournament before falling to co-champion Mercer.

Prior to his time at Furman, Poppie spent two seasons at USC Upstate.

Poppie began his career as an assistant coach at Limestone College where he served as recruiting coordinator. During his tenure, he recruited and signed three all-conference performers and helped the Saints to a 25-7 record, advancing to the NCAA Division II National Tournament in 2012.

A 2007 graduate of Limestone, Poppie was a two-time Carolinas-Virginia Athletic All-Conference player. He graduated as the school’s all-time leader in assists (602), steals (168) and finished third on the scoring list (1,246). Poppie earned his bachelor’s degree in sports management. He was indicted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 2017.

The Crescent City, Illinois native was inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in the summer of 2019. 

He currently resides in Christiansburg, Virginia with his wife Regina and son Kai.