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Brenda Frese wins Big Ten Coach of the Year for Maryland women’s basketball

Despite losing five starters, the Terps have not missed a beat this season.

Lila Bromberg / Testudo Times

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

This past offseason, the Terps lost all five starters due to graduation and players entering the transfer portal. However, Frese used the portal to add three additions to her roster and picked up the No. 2 recruit in the country, Angel Reese.

Looking at Frese’s current starting lineup, Ashley Owusu and Diamond Miller were the only players to step on the court in a Maryland jersey before this season. Mimi Collins, who transferred from Tennessee last season, did not have eligibility until 2020-21 and Chloe Bibby and Katie Benzan who played for Mississippi State and Harvard, respectively, transferred to Maryland ahead of this season.

Despite having a completely new starting five and the challenge of playing during a pandemic, Maryland finished the regular season with the No. 1 scoring offense in the country with an average of 91.3 points per game. The Terps also clinched the No. 1 seed in the Big Ten tournament and earned sole possession of the Big Ten regular season title.

The Terps also finished the regular season with the No. 2 assist/turnover ratio (1.60), No. 2 three-point field goal percentage (41.21%), No. 4 field goal percentage (49.01%) and No. 7 scoring margin (+21) in the nation, as well as No. 8 in assists (457).

Frese has won this honor three other times, once in 2001-02 while coaching at Minnesota and twice while at Maryland. The last time Frese was recognized as the top coach in the conference was the 2018-19 season. That year, Maryland won the regular-season title and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Along the way, 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 Chris Weller with 499 wins.

Since arriving in College Park ahead of the 2002-03 season, Frese has led the Terps to six Big Ten titles in seven years, eight Sweet Sixteen appearances, six Elite Eight appearances, three Final Fours and one NCAA Championship in 2006. The Terps have their eyes set on another national championship this season, hoping to secure a 1-seed with a run in the Big Ten tournament.