UMKC announced Wednesday that Marsha Frese will be the next head coach of the women’s basketball program. A formal press conference, as well as a meet and greet will take place on Monday, April 30 at 2:00 p.m. at the UMKC Swinney Recreation Center’s north lobby.
Most recently, she was the associate head coach and recruiting coordinator at Northern Illinois University. She spent two seasons under head coach Kathi Bennett there, with her first recruiting class including the MAC Freshman of the Year in Claire Jakubicek, the first to earn that honor in nearly 10 years there. During her first season, she also helped the Huskies improve their win total by 30 percent, 75 percent in league games. The Huskies also improved their overall win total in her second season, and advanced to the MAC Tournament quarterfinals for the first time in four years. A perimeter coach, her team led the MAC in three-point shooting and ranked No. 10 in the nation at 37.6 percent.
She was out of the coaching ranks for two years from 2008-10, and served as a financial advisor while raising her family. She coached the 2007-08 season at Ball State, her second stint there, also coaching there from 1999-2001. In her first go-around she helped deliver back-to-back winning seasons to the Cardinals for only the second time in school history. Tabbed with primary recruiting responsibility, she brought in 2001 MAC Freshman of the Year Johna Goff with in her first class at BSU.
Frese spent 2003-07 at the University of Illinois as the associate head coach and recruiting coordinator, where she spearheaded four consecutive national top-25 recruiting classes, according to Blue Star Basketball. In her first year there there, Illinois upset three top-25 teams and the Illini fought their way to the WNIT. In 2005-06, Illinois won a WNIT game and upended No. 15 Oklahoma. The next year, she helped coach Illinois to the WNIT Round of 16 and a win over No. 16 Michigan State. She also coached two record-setting individuals: Lori Bjork and Jenna Smith, both Frese recruits. Bjork set a new single season three-point record with 84 makes and was named Second Team All-Big Ten. Smith set the Illinois freshman single-season rebounding record.
After her first stint at Ball State, Frese provided an immediate impact in her next role as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Minnesota. The Golden Gophers posted an 8-20 recorded prior to her arrival. With Frese on staff, Minnesota turned around its basketball stock, winning 22 games. Frese also flipped the fortunes of Golden Gopher recruiting, signing the No. 15 class in the nation, as ranked by Blue Star.
When Frese’s sister Brenda Frese, who had been with Marsha as the head coach at Ball State and Minnesota, was tabbed to lead the women’s basketball program at Maryland, it was only natural for Marsha join her on the Terrapins staff. As recruiting coordinator, Marsha Frese brought two all-Americans to Maryland, resulting in the 10th-best recruiting class in the country, according to Blue Star.