April 25, 2022 

Brenda Frese discusses “new age of transfer portal” and new contract extension

Frese: This is home

Women’s college basketball might be in its offseason, but Brenda Frese is not.

Maryland’s head coach recently went to Virginia to attend an AAU tournament to see if any prospective talent would catch her eye. The days of having time in the summer to recover from a grueling winter of nonstop basketball are over in this day and age. In fact, many aspects of college ball have over her 20 years with the Terrapins.

“A lot [has changed],” said Frese. “From television to social media, the exposure is just instant now. You are seeing people’s contracts improve, which is great. We are also moving into the era of the transfer portal and NIL deals, so you’ve just seen a lot of changes quickly.”

The “era of the transfer portal” has been a hot topic for Maryland over the last couple of weeks. Former Terrapins Angel Reese, Mimi Collins, Ashley Owusu, Channise Lewis and Taisiya Kozlova all announced they have entered the transfer portal. Their exits were surprising after the team finished only a half a game out of the regular-season conference title and made an appearance in the Elite Eight.

According to Frese, she and her staff anticipated movement on their roster and said the team “needed new energy.” The Diamondback first reported that Frese and the coaching staff had a feeling some Maryland players were going to enter the transfer portal.

“It goes back to what I was saying about the relationship as a coach with your kids,” said Frese. “You know what is going to happen. I can tell you, with those three, we were fully prepared. We had numerous things throughout the season that prepared us and we joked that we knew we were going to be ‘portaling’ this offseason.”

Even after some drama around the transfer portal situation, the university doubled down on its faith in Frese by rewarding her with a multi-year deal that extends through the 2028-29 season.

In 20 years with Maryland, she has 14 conference titles and an NCAA championship title under her belt. Her teams have also made 18 trips to the NCAA Tournament, including six Elite Eights and three Final Four appearances. It’s the reputation she has built over the last two decades that helped her fill in the recent holes in the roster.

After the departure of some of Maryland’s core from last season, Frese has landed top-60 recruits Brianna McDaniel and Gia Cooke (both of whom decommitted from Texas A&M). She was also able to add another key contributor this fall in Abby Meyers, who starred in Princeton’s underdog run in the NCAA Tournament.

“For 20 years, we have had the support of the administration,” said Freese. “It still feels like we can recruit a goldmine of student-athletes. When we had some students in the transfer portal, look at how many we were able to get within a week’s time. It’s been pretty exciting to see what we have been able to attract here in Maryland.”

McDaniels spoke to The Next two weeks ago after committing to Maryland about what stood out to her. The culture Frese has created immediately came up.

“When I went there [this past weekend], it felt like family right off the bat,” said McDaniel on April 11. “When they found out I had decommitted from Texas A&M, they were the first school to call. It felt great to know I was wanted that much.”

Frese has been a constant at Maryland for two decades and understands that the best coaches are the ones who adapt to every new trend that rears its head. As she continues to go down the recruitment path, she has the security of a new contract and a new foundation to build in the 2022-23 season.

“This is home,” said Frese. “How could you leave when you have this much support? I feel like we are recruiting and bringing in the best student-athletes in the country in the backyard of the nation’s capital. I don’t know how you could look to leave that.”

Written by James Kay

Leave a Comment