While her team prepared to meet Duke in an Atlantic Coast Conference showdown - which Maryland won, 76-69 - women's basketball coach Brenda Frese gave birth to twin boys yesterday morning at an undisclosed Washington-area hospital, the school announced.
Frese, in her sixth year as Terrapins coach, delivered Markus William Thomas, who was born at 10:21 a.m., then gave birth to Tyler Joseph Thomas 30 minutes later. Markus weighed 5 pounds, 5 ounces at birth and was 18.5 inches long, while Tyler weighed 5 pounds, 12 ounces and measured 19.25 inches.
Frese, both babies and Mark Thomas, Frese's husband of 2 1/2 years, were reported to be in good health. Frese had said recently she did not know the sex of the babies and didn't want to know.
Frese, 37, who delivered the babies naturally, was due to give birth March 11, but she and Thomas had said they expected the birth to take place before then, as twins are more likely to be delivered early. Frese had said recently that if her pregnancy had continued past Sunday, her doctors would likely induce childbirth.
No date was announced for Frese's return to coaching, but she has repeatedly said she intends to coach in the NCAA tournament, which begins March 23, with Maryland hosting first- and second-round games at the Comcast Center. Assistant coach Daron Park will serve as interim coach in Frese's absence.
Frese's pregnancy, which she announced to the team in October, has been one of the most ballyhooed story lines in women's basketball this year, at times overshadowing the Terps' bid for a second national title in three years. The team, ranked fourth in the nation, has had to make allowances for Frese's pregnancy, including bringing an office chair - loaded with pillows to support her lower back - onto the court for practices and games.
Under orders from her doctors, Frese has not traveled to road games since December, missing a West Coast trip in November as well as Maryland's lone ACC loss to North Carolina last month. Park, in his first year as a Maryland assistant, has run the team while Frese was away.