For the first time in several years, Maryland head women's basketball coach Brenda Frese has had to deal with staff turnover. The most dramatic move came when assistant coach David Atkins moved on to take a position with the Washington Wizards perhaps becoming the first assistant coach to leap from a women's program directly to the NBA. A somewhat lower profile disruption occurred when director of scouting and player development, Zach Kancher, joined Katie Meier as an assistant coach at the University of Miami at the end of May.
Dipping into the Proud Past, Fearless Future theme that has ruled Maryland Athletics for the past year, Frese looked to her past bringing back Danielle Hemerka who served as the assistant to the recruiting coordinator for the Terps from 2008 through 2011. When American University offered Hemerka the chance to take on the role of recruiting coordinator, she packed her bags and relocated all of 11 miles to the southwest.
After two years at American, St. Francis (PA) offered Hemerka a chance to take another step up the coaching ladder as their assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. Now she will take on another new role as Maryland's director of scouting and player development.
Hemerka, who played her college ball at Davidson (Lefty Driesell connection, anyone?), graduated in 2008 with a degree in psychology. She was an all around player for the Wildcats finishing her career as the only player in program history to score 1,000 points, grab 700 rebounds, dish out 200 assists, and record 150 steals. As a junior, she helped lead the Wildcats to their first ever postseason bid.
Long time Terrapins fans will certainly notice a difference with Hemerka on the bench. Gone will be Kancher's distinctive crop of red hair and his booming baritone. In his place they will see a more understated presence but one with whom they are already familiar.