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Brenda Frese wins AP Women’s Coach of the Year

Frese led the Terps to a Sweet Sixteen appearance and 26-3 overall record.

Maryland women’s basketball’s head coach Brenda Frese has been named the AP National Coach of the Year for the 2020-21 season.

Earlier this season, Frese was named as the ESPN National Coach of the Year as well as The Athletic’s National Coach of the Year.

Frese led the Terps to a 26-3 overall record, despite the team coming into this season after losing all five starters due to graduation and players entering the transfer portal.

Maryland finished the regular season as a consistent top-10 team in the AP Poll with just two losses and a sparkling 17-1 record against Big Ten opponents. Frese and the Terps eventually went on to sweep their Big Ten Tournament opponents en route to Maryland’s fifth Big Ten title in the last seven years.

Frese then guided her team to two straight victories as the highest No. 2-seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Terps combined for 198 points in the first two rounds of the tournament, as they took down Mount St. Mary’s and Alabama, before finally getting knocked out by No. 6-seed Texas in the Sweet Sixteen.

Despite playing during the challenge that is the COVID-19 pandemic, Maryland finished the regular season with the No. 1 scoring offense in the country with an average of 90.8 points per game. The Terps finished the season with the No. 1 assist/turnover ratio (1.69), No. 2 three-point field goal percentage (39.97%), No. 3 field goal percentage (49.57%) and No. 6 scoring margin (+21.8) in the nation, as well as No. 5 in assists (589).

After the conclusion of the regular season, Frese was awarded the Big Ten Coach of the Year as well. It was the fourth time that Frese was given the award in her coaching career.

Frese has won the AP Women’s Coach of the Year award just once before. She previously captured the award in 2002 while at Minnesota. Following that season, she was hired to coach at Maryland.

Along the way toward this award, Frese hit a career milestone of 500 wins as the Maryland head coach. She achieved this feat in 19 seasons and is now the winningest coach in program history, a title previously held by Hall of Fame coach Chris Weller with 499 wins.

Since arriving in College Park ahead of the 2002-03 season, Frese has led the Terps to five Big Ten tournament titles in seven years, nine Sweet Sixteen appearances, six Elite Eight appearances, three Final Fours and one NCAA Championship in 2006.