Brooklyn College Women’s Basketball Enters a New Era

Photo taken from Women’s HoopDirt, Brooklyn College Logo


Megan Campbell enters her first season as head coach of the Brooklyn College women’s basketball team, inheriting a program seeking its fourth straight CUNY Athletic Conference championship. Campbell’s predecessor, Alex Lang, leaves behind a history of winning in his 20 years as head honcho.

Campbell served as an assistant coach for the Bulldogs’ the last two seasons. During her tenure, she won back-to-back conference titles, and the program’s first ever NCAA tournament win in 2022.

“After I was promoted, Alex told me to be myself, have my own coaching style, and stay consistent,” Bulldogs’ Head Coach Megan Campbell said. “Alex has always been, and will continue to be, a mentor of mine.”

Campbell has continued to push the principles of Lang: ultra-focus on the defensive end of the floor, and everyone holding each other accountable. With that, Campbell made it crystal clear that she would add her own special sauce to Lang’s recipe for success.

“I wanted to establish a culture where we’re not only competing at the highest intensity on gameday, but also during practice,” Campbell said.

For a team that has had as much recent success as the Bulldogs, it’d be fathomable to become complacent.

“I understand that as back-to-back-to-back champions, we have a bullseye on our back, and every team we play is going to give us their best shot,” Campbell said. “That’s why it’s imperative that we raise our intensity level up a notch, even more so than in prior years.”

Before becoming a coach, Campbell was highly touted as a player at Brooklyn from 2013-2015 after playing for Lackawanna College her freshman and sophomore seasons. Campbell led the team in scoring, rebounding, and blocked shots as a junior. She would go on to be named a First Team CUNYAC All-Star during her junior year.

As a senior, she averaged 14.8 points per game, and 9.4 rebounds per game. Campbell was named a First Team CUNYAC All-Star for the second year in a row. She ended her college career with a bang after cashing in on an Eastern College Athletic Conference championship.

Her achievements extend beyond the basketball court. As a student, Campbell earned Capital One/CoSIDA Academic Third Team All-American Accolades her senior year. As a coach, she continues to promote the importance of academic achievement. “Coach Meg really shows she cares by making sure the mental health, and education part of life comes first,” Bulldogs’ small forward Julianna Elkins said.

After college, Campbell played in Ireland for the Institute of Technology Carlow. She added a piece of hardware to her trophy case after winning the Women’s National League Championship in 2017.

Campbell’s coaching career began overseas. She led the Old Leighlin women’s-team to an All-Ireland Club championship.

Her last stop before joining Brooklyn’s staff occurred in the summer of 2021. Campbell was on the American Athletic Union (AAU) circuit coaching with Castle Athletics, a program for middle school students.

Now part of Campbell’s job includes recruiting the best high school students to join the top women’s basketball program in the CUNYAC.

“Before coming to Brooklyn College, I mainly talked to Alex about the transition and recruitment process,” Elkins said. “When he stepped down, Coach Meg texted me regularly to make sure I was ok. My parents were very nervous about sending me to New York from our home in Maryland. Conversations with Coach Meg helped ease the anxiety my parents, and I had.”

Campbell has big shoes to fill in replacing Lang, the winningest women’s basketball coach ever in CUNYAC history. He has a record of 340 wins, and 210 losses, along with 10 consecutive 20-win seasons (2011-2022). Lang has won eight coach of the year awards, four CUNYAC championships, and two ECAC championships, cementing his legacy as a head coach.

Lang stepped down from his position as head coach earlier this year, in April. He had coached for 23 years consecutively, with the exception of the pandemic, when there was no basketball season. The pandemic gave him time to take a step back and think about his future with the team.

“I think coaching here for 20 seasons, I met most of the goals that I wanted to meet,” Lang said. “I did a lot of what I wanted to do, and I had no regrets in terms of my coaching career, and I was happy to maybe pass it along to someone else.”

While he still cares deeply about the team, he thought it would be more beneficial for them to have someone with even more energy and passion continue to take the program to new heights.

Now he tries to help out the team in any way he can. Lang has been advising Campbell throughout this whole process because, as he knows, being a first-year coach is not easy.

“I think the most helpful thing I’ve been able to do, is to just provide her with some context for some of the frustrations that she has and explain to her that it’s very natural,” Lang said.

One of those frustrations being the constant struggle that coaches have when trying to motivate the players individually, while also trying to get them to work together as a team.

Lang took over the team in 2002. He turned around a program that was winless the previous season, and two years later, the team surpassed double-figures in victories.

Despite Lang’s rich resume as a coach, he lost his position as interim Director of Athletics, Recreation, and Intramurals early in 2023. He had begun in that position at the start of the pandemic in 2020 after Bruce Filosa retired.

Director Filosa’s tenure lasted 28 years (1992-2020). When Filosa started, Brooklyn’s program was in a dismal state, having fallen out of NCAA Division III and CUNYAC. He led the women’s team back into full Division III and CUNYAC membership. One of the main factors for Filosa’s hire as director was to restart overall Intercollegiate Athletics. He was able to build the program up to 13 intercollegiate teams.

During Lang’s three years as director, he increased publicity for many teams and athletes at Brooklyn College, while hiring coaches for a variety of programs, including men and women’s swimming. He will now serve as assistant director.

Earlier this year, Brooklyn College welcomed its new athletic director, Erik Smiles. He has served as Director of Athletics, Recreation, and Intramurals at Hostos Community College since 2019. Lang, although demoted, will work alongside Smiles, who took the position Lang had held on an interim basis.

“Alex has well-established relationships with staff, and a strong familiarity with the inner workings of Brooklyn College. Smiles is energetic, eager, and ready to share his ideas to lead the athletics department moving forward,” Bulldogs Soccer Coach Luis Flores said. “Together, they make a very powerful administrative team.”

Smiles’ highly-decorated career resume began at Farmingdale State College. He was an assistant coach on the men’s basketball staff before being named Head Coach and Campus Facilities Coordinator in 2004. During his nine seasons at the helm, he led the Rams to four Skyline Regular Season titles, and three Skyline Tournament Championships. Smiles also served as the Athletic Facility Coordinator and Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Long Island University – Post, an NCAA Division II program, from 2013 – 2019.

“Without even a full year under his belt as athletic director, Smiles has already contributed in a major way to the sports scene at Brooklyn College,” Flores said. “Starting this spring, all teams will have strength and conditioning coaches to enhance performance on gameday.”