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Brenda Frese, Maryland agree to six-year extension

The program’s all-time winningest coach had a previous contract set to expire next month.

Maryland women’s basketball head coach Brenda Frese has signed a new contract that extends her through the 2026-27 season, the university announced on Tuesday.

The six-year deal will extend automatically through the 2027-28 season if Frese is still the coach on May 2, 2023, per a team spokesperson. The head coach’s previous contract ran until June 2021 and this new six-year contract became effective earlier this month.

Frese will make $1.4 million for the upcoming season which is the $660,000 base salary combined with the supplemental income of $740,000. The supplemental annual income will increase by $50,000 per year starting for the 2022-23 contract year.

“Coach Frese has shown consistent excellence on and off the court throughout her 19 years here at Maryland,” Evans said, per release. “Coach Frese’s teams have shown unprecedented success in the Big Ten and have sustained success among the nation’s best. Her program is a model for many because the student-athletes she brings to Maryland are simply the best of the best. We wanted to make sure she is leading our Terrapins for many years to come.”

In her time with Maryland, Frese has amassed a 512-131 (.796) record leading her team to an NCAA Tournament bid in 17 of her 19 seasons in College Park. Frese has seen immense success in the post-season leading the Terps to nine Sweet 16 appearances, six Elite Eights and three Final Fours. In 2006, she led Maryland to win its first and only National Championship.

“I’m really proud of the... consistency that this program has been able to uphold,” Frese said. “I consider myself a consistent personality and person and it means a lot to continue to hold this program at a really high level because that’s where Maryland belongs.”

When it comes to incentives, with this new deal, Frese can earn up to $405,000 per year. If the Terps earn a bid to the NCAA Tournament, the head coach will earn a $25,000 bonus and she leads the program to win its second National Championship Frese will earn $250,000.

Receiving the Big Ten Coach of the Year award earns her a bonus of $22,500 and the National Coach of the Year award from either Sports Writers, AP or Naismith earns Frese $40,000.

There is no buyout with this contract however, if Frese elects to leave the program and terminate this contract on or before April 30, 2024, she will owe the University of Maryland $850,000. If she decides to leave after that date but on or before April 30, 2026, the head coach would owe the university $500,000.

Frese is coming off an exciting season. Although her team fell to Texas in the Sweet 16, they saw success despite the unprecedented challenges the season presented while taking place during the coronavirus pandemic. The Terps led the NCAA in scoring while averaging 90.8 points per game which is a new program record.

After losing all five starters last year, Frese helped the women’s basketball team create a dynamic in which they played so cohesively that they went on to clinch the Big Ten regular-season title outright as well as the Big Ten Tournament Title. Seven Terps earned Big Ten honors and Frese earned Big Ten Coach of the Year.

Frese’s 2020-21 season resume also included hitting her 500th Maryland win earning her the title of winningest head coach in program history after surpassing Chris Weller’s 499 wins. She also earned AP Coach of the Year for the second time in her career.

Maryland enters the upcoming 2021-22 season returning almost 100% of its roster with the exception of graduate transfer forward Alaysia Styles who entered the transfer portal earlier this offseason. Additionally, one of Frese’s strengths as a coach been her recruiting, something she has continued to do ahead next season.

Maryland’s highest recruit in program history is rising sophomore forward Angel Reese. The Baltimore native is part of the Class of 2020 and ranked No. 2 in the nation behind UConn phenom guard Paige Bueckers.

ESPN has Maryland’s Class of 2021 ranked ninth in the nation with the additions of the No. 22 player in the nation, guard Shyanne Sellers and forward Emma Chardon marking the 16th time Frese has brought in a top-15 recruiting class.

Looking ahead to the Class of 2022, Frese has already has secured guard Mila Reynolds from South Bend, Indiana and point guard Ava Sciolla from Fairless Hills, Pennslyvania. Reynolds is currently ranked as No. 48 player in the class by ESPN and has two sisters Amiyah and Kira who are 2023 and 2025 prospects, respectfully. Amiyah is currently the No. 15 recruit in the Class of 2023, per ESPN.

With Frese’s extension, she may have the opportunity to land Mila’s sisters similarly to how she recruited both Brionna and Stephanie Jones who now play together in the WNBA on the Connecticut Sun.

Currently, on the Sun, five of 12 players on the roster graduated from Maryland and played for Frese. In her 19 seasons as a head coach, 16 players have been drafted to the WNBA and there are currently seven Terps who played their whole career in College Park who are on a WNBA roster this season.

“[I am] grateful to those student-athletes that understand the vision, but I also put our player development piece, I put our strength and conditioning piece, our coaching expertise up to up to anyone,” Frese said. “When you talk about, you know, how they’re developed in Maryland and then when they go on professionally, what kind of pro careers that they have.”

After a rocky offseason ahead of the 2020-21 season with departures from key players as a result of the transfer portal and graduation, Frese, along with the rest of the staff, rebuilt this team and they head into the upcoming year with a clearer picture of what the 2021-22 season may look like.

“To be able to have that continuity and that stability within a team is really, really important so I am excited to be able to see what we can build upon with this group,” Frese said.

After bringing in grad transfer guard Katie Benzan from Harvard and transfer Chloe Bibby from Mississippi State, Frese added key weapons to her starting lineup. Benzan led the nation with her 50% three-point field goal percentage and Bibby showed invaluable veteran leadership after going to a Final Four with the Bulldogs.

Frese is also returning the rising junior guard duo of Diamond Miller and Ashley Owusu who won co-Big Ten Tournament Most Outstanding Players. Owusu led the team averaging 17.9 points and ranked fourth in the nation with 171 assists. Miller was a close second on the team with 17.3 points per game, a drastic jump from her 7.7 per game during the 2019-20 season.

Frese is also bringing back starting forward Mimi Collins from last season and forward Faith Masonius who made an impact off the bench for the Terps.

With Frese’s extension set, she will continue to build this program for at least the next six years.

“First of all, I am grateful that Maryland believes in our program,” Frese said, per release. “Maryland is really a place where student-athletes can have it all. We take great pride in the name on the front of our uniforms and representing an elite university.

“I want to thank President Darryll Pines, Athletic Director Damon Evans and Deputy AD Colleen Sorem for their commitment and support of our team. I am honored and humbled to have led this program the past 19 years and am so proud of the national power we have rebuilt and sustained. I am looking forward to what lies ahead in the future and making some more Maryland magic.”

Editor’s note: This article was updated with financial terms after receiving the information through a public records request.