University of Maryland’s Women’s Basketball head coach is among the most successful in the business
Joining a who’s who list of keynote speakers who have entertained and inspired generations of McCormick Unsung Hero honorees will be University of Maryland Women’s Basketball head coach Brenda Frese. Frese will deliver the keynote address at the 76th annual McCormick Unsung Heroes Banquet, which will be held on Monday, May 2, 2016 in Cockeysville.
Frese has lead the Maryland women to unprecedented heights since her College Park arrival in 2003, with her Terps posting 11 straight 20 win seasons, five 30 win seasons, 11 trips to the NCAA Tournament, five conference championships, three Final Four appearances and the 2006 National Championship.
"This has been an incredible journey and winning the national championship in 2006 was just the beginning," Frese said. "My coaching staff and I had the belief we could win a national championship here at Maryland. With all the administrative support, the first-class facilities - we knew we could build something great. We did not set any timetables, but what we have achieved so far ... it's beyond expectations."
Under Frese, Maryland has recruited some of the most talented high school players in the nation, but her squads have been defined by unselfish play, all-out effort, and devotion to team, all characteristics worthy of an Unsung Hero.
Frese spent six seasons, two at Kent State and four at Iowa State, as an assistant, before getting her first head coaching assignment at Ball State in 2000. She lead the Cardinals to 35 wins over two seasons before moving on to Minnesota in 2002 and leading the Golden Gophers into the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Minnesota was 22-8 that year and Frese was named National Coach of the Year.
Maryland jumped at the chance to bring her to College Park the following year and she took just two seasons to restore a once prominent program, posting a record of 340-104 in her 13 seasons with the Terps.
Frese has expressed excitement about speaking to the Unsung Heroes.
"I am honored to speak at the McCormick Unsung Heroes banquet. This is something I have looked forward to for a very long time,” said Frese. “It will be a special evening for sure."
The list of previous keynote speakers at Unsung Hero banquets is as impressive as it is long. Last year, for the 75th anniversary celebration, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning did the honors.
Other prominent women who have spoken include Rutgers women’s basketball head coach Vivian Stringer (2009), Olympians Dot Richardson (2007), Cathy Rigby (1999) and Mary Lou Retton (1992), former University of Florida women’s basketball coach Carolyn Peck (2004), and professional tennis star Pam Shriver (1987).