University of North Dakota athletics director Brian Faison announced Travis Brewster as the sixth head coach of the North Dakota women's basketball program in Feb. 2012. Brewster's appointment came just weeks after former head coach Gene Roebuck announced that he would retire following his 25th season at the helm.
"Coach Brewster is one of the up-and-coming coaches in the game," Faison said at the time of the hiring. "He brings a special combination of coaching, recruiting, administrative and communication skills to the position. In observing Coach Brewster over the past few years, he clearly knows how to effectively lead and motivate our student-athletes. He has a passion to continue the excellent competitive and academic traditions that have been built for women's basketball at the University of North Dakota."
"Travis has earned the right to move into the head coaching position," Roebuck said. "He's been instrumental in all phases of our program."
Brewster was an assistant for nine years before moving to the head chair before the 2012-13 campaign. His first season (11-18 overall) was highlighted by several monumental wins.
The team entered its first season in the Big Sky Conference and promptly knocked off preseason favorite Idaho State on Jan. 3 for its first league win. A non-conference triumph over arch-rival North Dakota State provided the first victory in Brewster's regime, a Nov. 30 win that helped UND retain bragging rights in the first game of the series since 2004. Nearly a month later, North Dakota defeated WNIT runner-up Utah 62-56 for the school's first-ever win over a power-6 conference (PAC-12). Junior Megan Lauck poured-in 29 points after halftime en route to a career-high 36 points in the season finale at Southern Utah, an effort that helped UND erase a 21-point second-half deficit.
Junior Madi Buck led the 2012-13 team in scoring (10.7 ppg) and rebounding (7.7 rpg) and was named to an All-Big Sky Conference honorable mention. Buck was one of two North Dakota players to garner league player of the week accolades, joining sophomore Emily Evers.
The success also came in the classroom as six student-athletes were named to the All-Big Sky Academic Team (Siri Burck, Josie Dillon, Megan Lauck, Carly Rothfusz, Nicole Smart and Allyssa Wall).
During his nine years on Gene Roebuck's staff, UND won over 71 percent of its games, three regular season conference titles, five conference postseason tournament titles and helped lead the program to three winning seasons during the four-year transition to NCAA Division I status. Two players earned conference player of the year accolades, three earned All-America status and nine earned first team all-conference honors.
"I learned so much from Coach Roebuck," Brewster admits. "He taught me that it's okay to keep things simple and be the best at it. It's about what our program does, not about what other programs do. He gave me things and let me take it and make my own strides. It started with recruiting, then working with player development and then strategy. He always gave me great input."
Brewster began his career at North Dakota as a graduate assistant coach for the men's program during the 2001-02 season, then joined the women's staff as a full-time assistant in 2002. From 2002-06, he served as recruiting coordinator and assistant coach. During those four years, the Sioux won four North Central Conference Tournament titles and consecutive NCC regular season titles in 2005 and 2006. In 2006, the team finished had a perfect regular season, won the NCC regular season and conference tournament titles and finished 34-1.
Brewster spent the 2007-08 season as an assistant coach and team travel coordinator at South Dakota State and helped guide the Jackrabbits to a 23-7 record, a Summit League regular season championship and an appearance in the Women's NIT postseason tournament. He spent the 2006-07 season as an assistant coach and strength and conditioning liaison at Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Brewster returned to Coach Roebuck's staff to start the transition from NCAA Division II to Division I status in 2008-09. In that first season UND went 18-11, posted a perfect 13-0 home record and won the season ending UND Spring Thaw Tournament. The next season UND won the 2010 Great West Conference regular season title and in 2012 won both the conference regular season and tournament titles en route to its first Division I postseason berth, the Women's Basketball Invitational (WBI).
In the summer of 2010, Brewster was one of just a handful of coaches selected nationally to attend the Black Coaches & Administrators Achieving Coaching Excellence program, where he underwent training in on- and off-camera interviews, on-court teaching, conducting home visits, budgets, leadership, networking, contract negations, and maintaining a quality of life.
As a player at the collegiate level, Brewster played two seasons at Iowa Lakes Community College ('90, '91), before moving on to Division I Charleston Southern ('92, '93). At ILCC, Brewster played on teams that went 49-12; at CSU, he was a two-time defensive MVP and team captain in 1993.
After graduating Charleston Southern in 1994, he played three years of professional basketball in Europe. In 1994-95, he played for Grand Saconnex in Geneva, Switzerland. In 1995-96, he moved up to Olympia Basketball Regensdorf in Zurich, Switzerland. In his third and final year, 1996-97, Brewster played for Dungannon in Ireland and Villar in Switzerland. He was a two-time member of the Swiss all-star team.
After his professional career, Brewster returned to Iowa Lakes in 1998 as an assistant coach. In three seasons he helped guide the Lakes to an aggregate record of 68-27.
Brewster is a member of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and the Black Coaches & Administrators (BCA).
His family includes his wife, Rebecca, daughter, Reganne, and sons, Drake and Kaid.