While her old program seems to be imploding, her current team just won the women’s NCAA basketball championship.
In just her fourth season as head coach at the University of Maryland, Brenda Frese guided her squad to a 78-75 overtime victory over Duke in last evening’s title game.
Frese took over a moribund University of Minnesota women’s program in 2001-02 when she was known as Brenda Oldfield. After one successful season with the Lady Gophers, Frese caught the attention of the entire women’s college basketball world. She took a program which couldn’t fill a 5,800-seat gym to a 22-victory season and a second round appearance in the NCAA tournament. With that kind of resurrection not seen since the days of Lazarus, Frese was lured away to Maryland in hopes she could work that same kind of magic.
It’s interesting to see the stark contrast in the two programs. The Lady Gophers have gone from a Final Four appearance two seasons ago, under Frese’s replacement Pam Borton, to a team who lost 6 of their last 8 games this year and then had to endure four players exiting the program within the past two weeks.
Meanwhile, the Lady Terps have gone from a 10-18 record in 2002-03 to winning it all three years later.
Yes, Frese once again has pulled the proverbial rabbit out of the hat.
Unfortunately for her old program, they’re left with the bunny droppings.