Brenda Frese

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Brenda Frese
Brenda Frese.jpg
Sport(s) Women's college basketball
Current position
Title Head coach
Team Maryland
Playing career
1989-1993 Arizona
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1999-2001
2001-2002
2002-current
Ball State
Minnesota
Maryland
Accomplishments and honors
Championships
NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship (2006)
Awards
Associated Press National Coach of the Year (2002)
ACC Coach of the Year (2012-13)
Big Ten Coach of the Year (2002)
MAC Coach of the Year (2000)

Brenda Frese (born 1970) is an American women's basketball head coach and former player. Since 2002, she has served as the head coach of the University of Maryland women's basketball team. In her fourth year as head coach, she won the 2006 Women's National Championship, and in her 2008-2009 season she won the ACC Regular Season and Tournament Championships - the women's first ACC Championship since 1989. She then won the ACC Championship title again, four years later in her 2011-2012 season. She was voted AP National Coach of the Year in 2002, ACC Coach of the Year in 2012-13, Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2002 and MAC Coach of the Year in 2000. At Maryland, she's coached four ACC Players of the Year and four ACC Freshmen of the Year.

Early life[edit]

Brenda Frese is the daughter of Bill and Donna Frese. She has five siblings: Deb, Cindy, Marsha, Stacy, and Jeff.[1] She attended Washington High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.[2] While in high school, Frese played on the basketball and volleyball teams for four years, as well as the track and softball teams for one year. She was a four-year basketball letterwinner, an Honorable Mention All-American and Iowa state champion in 1988, and an all-state and all-metro player from 1986 to 1988.[1]

Frese attended the University of Arizona as an undergraduate student. From 1989 until 1993 she played three seasons for the varsity basketball team. In 1989, she was selected for a Pac-10 tour of West Germany. Frese graduated from the university with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications in 1993. In 1995, she graduated from Kent State University with a Master's Degree in Athletic Administration.[1]

Pre-Maryland coaching career[edit]

While injured as a player at the University of Arizona, Brenda Frese volunteered as an assistant coach at PIMA Community College in Tucson, Arizona. Upon graduation, she immediately began to pursuing a career in coaching, driving across the country to attend an NCAA Final Four and working various basketball camps. Frese's career officially started in 1994 as an assistant coach at Kent State and Iowa State and then spent three years as head coach at Ball State and Minnesota. In her very first game as a head coach, Frese led Ball State to an upset win over Minnesota. Less than two years later, Minnesota hired Frese as their new head coach. During her 2001-02 season at Minnesota, she led a one-year turnaround of 8-20 to 22-8, one of the biggest in NCAA history. Minnesota made it to the 2nd round of the NCAA Championship that year, and Frese was named the AP National Coach of the Year for 2002. Minnesota's fan base quickly grew and the team was able to make a move to start playing its games in the same arena as the men's team. After turning around the Minnesota program, Frese became a sought after coach and drew interest from Maryland, Ohio State and Florida. Maryland Athletic Director Debbie Yow sealed the deal the night of the 2002 Men's NCAA Basketball Championship game, in which Maryland defeated Indiana for the national championship.

Frese was awarded the US Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) Coach of the Year award in 2002.[3]

College Park renaissance[edit]

When Frese arrived at Maryland prior to the 2002-03 season, she brought with her the buzz of a rising star in the women's hoops coaching world, as well as a remarkable recruiting acumen. Her first highly coveted recruits, Shay Doron and Kalika France, marked the beginning of an ever-expanding stream of blue-chip talent choosing to take their talents to College Park.

Despite winning only 10 games in her first season, Frese, the 2002 AP National Coach of the Year, has quickly returned Maryland to national prominence. As of the end of the 2012-13 season, Frese has guided Maryland to an overall record of 278-94 (.750) including nine NCAA tournament berths, nine consecutive 20-win seasons, six 25+ win seasons, four 30+ win seasons, four Elite Eights, the program's fourth NCAA Final Four appearance and the 2006 NCAA Women's Basketball National Championship. Maryland received its first-ever No. 1 preseason national ranking in 2006-07. The Terps remained in the top spot in the polls for 10-consecutive weeks. Frese led Maryland to the 2008-09 ACC regular season and 2009 ACC Tournament championships, as well as the 2012 ACC Tournament championship.

Player-wise, all seniors to play for Frese at Maryland have graduated. Frese's high octane Maryland program has also produced five "Top Ten" WNBA Draft Picks- Crystal Langhorne (2008), Laura Harper (2008), Marissa Coleman (2009), Kristi Toliver (2009) and Tianna Hawkins (2012). Shay Doron was a 2nd round pick in the 2007 WNBA Draft- a remarkable accomplishment considering her final two college choices were Harvard and an at the time rebuilding Maryland program. Lynetta Kizer and Anjale Barrett were selected in the 2012 WNBA Draft.

The 2006 National Championship[edit]

Frese coached Maryland's Terrapins to a 34-4 record during the 2006 season. The team finished the season by winning the 2006 NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Tournament. In the final game, Maryland's Kristi Toliver tied the game with a jump shot over center Alison Bales with six seconds left, forcing Duke into overtime, and eventually led Maryland to a win by a score of 78-75. She is the fifth youngest women's coach to win a national championship.

Book release[edit]

In October 2006, Frese and writer Chris King released a book chronicling the Terrapins' rise to their 2006 championship win entitled "Overtime Is Our Time." The 200-page book, published by Terrapin State Publishing, earned acclaim by national TV basketball analyst Debbie Antonelli.

Post-championship[edit]

The Terp women were ranked #1 in major preseason polls entering the 2006-07 season, a first for the program. They were also set to debut star Tennessee transfer Sa'de Wiley-Gatewood, who was unfortunately limited by tendinitis in both knees but still contributed on and off the court. The team, however, did not deliver a performance as stirring or convincing as in their championship year; they went 0–3 in the regular season against ACC rivals North Carolina and Duke, were eliminated by the Tar Heels in the ACC Tournament and were upset in the NCAA Tournament's round of 32 by Ole Miss. Maryland had beaten Ole Miss decisively during the regular season at a tournament in the Bahamas.

Maryland spent much of the 2007–08 season ranked among the nation's top five teams and finished the season 33–4. The Terps advanced to the NCAA's Elite Eight, where they lost an entertaining, high-scoring affair to Stanford, 98–87. During the season, Coach Frese gave birth to twin boys- Markus William Thomas and Tyler Joseph Thomas- on February 17, 2008. That same day, Maryland won on the road at Duke, 76–69, giving Maryland a sweep of the regular season series. Maryland won the preseason WNIT, defeating LSU in the championship game, 75–62. Kristi Toliver won the Nancy Lieberman Award, which is given annually to the nation's top point guard. Crystal Langhorne was voted ACC Player of the Year. Both Langhorne and Toliver were named State Farm All-Americans. Langhorne and fellow senior Laura Harper were top 10 picks in the WNBA Draft.

In 2008-09, after losing five seniors and dropping the season opener at Texas Christian University, Frese was able to coach the team to both the ACC Regular Season and Tournament championships, as well as an NCAA Elite Eight appearance and 31-5 record. Kristi Toliver was named ACC Player of the Year, Marissa Coleman won ACC Tournament MVP and freshman Lynetta Kizer won ACC Rookie of the Year. Coleman and Toliver were selected #2 and #3, respectively, overall in the '09 WNBA Draft.

In 2010-11, Maryland bounced back from a year's absence from the NCAA Tournament with a fourth place finish in the ACC regular season. The team had no seniors on its roster. Alyssa Thomas earned seven ACC Rookie of the Week honors and won ACC Rookie of the Year. Four freshmen under Frese have won the ACC's Rookie of the Year award (Langhorne, Coleman, Kizer and Thomas). Lynetta Kizer and Alyssa Thomas earned 2nd team All-ACC honors.

Personal life[edit]

Frese married Mark Thomas in 2005. In the 2007 offseason, Frese learned she was pregnant with twins. She gave birth to sons Markus William and Tyler Joseph on February 17, 2008.[4] Her youngest son was diagnosed with leukemia (ALL) on September 28, 2010.

Head coaching record[edit]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Ball State (Mid-American Conference) (1999–2001)
1999-2000 Ball State 16-13
2000-2001 Ball State 19-9
Ball State: 35-22
Minnesota (Big Ten) (2001–2002)
2001-2002 Minnesota 22-8 11-6 3 NCAA Second Round
Minnesota: 22-8 11-6
Maryland (Atlantic Coast Conference) (2002–2014)
2002-2003 Maryland 10-18 4-13 9
2003-2004 Maryland 18-13 9-9 3 NCAA Second Round
2004-2005 Maryland 22-10 9-8 5 NCAA Second Round
2005-2006 Maryland 34-4 14-3 2-T NCAA Champions
2006-2007 Maryland 28-6 11-5 3 NCAA Second Round
2007-2008 Maryland 33-4 14-2 2 NCAA Elite Eight
2008-2009 Maryland 31-5 15-2 1 NCAA Elite Eight
2009-2010 Maryland 21-12 6-10 9 WNIT Third Round
2010-2011 Maryland 24-8 9-5 4 NCAA Second Round
2011-2012 Maryland 31-5 12-4 3 NCAA Elite Eight
2012-2013 Maryland 26-8 14-4 3 NCAA Sweet Sixteen
2013-2014 Maryland 28-7 12-4 3 NCAA Final Four
Maryland (Big Ten Conference) (2014–present)
2014-2015 Maryland
Maryland: 306-101 143-75
Total: 363-131

      National champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

See also[edit]

Brenda Frese's Bio on the Maryland Women's Basketball website (accessed 26 April 2013)
AP article on Frese, her career, and the championship win (accessed 26 April 2013)
Brenda Frese's Bio on the UM's athletics site (accessed 26 April 2013)
Brenda Frese Feature in PressBox after 2006 National Championship (accessed 26 April 2013)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Brenda Frese Bio". Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  2. ^ "Player Bio: Brenda Frese". Retrieved 4 January 2012. 
  3. ^ "USBWA WOMEN'S HONORS". USBWA. Retrieved 8 May 2010. 
  4. ^ Reproduction - baltimoresun.com