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Maryland women’s basketball coach Brenda Frese named AP’s National Coach of the Year | DIGEST

Maryland women’s basketball coach Brenda Frese was named National Coach of the Year by The Associated Press on Wednesday. Frese, who recently finished her 19th season at Maryland, was also voted National Coach of the Year by ESPN and The Athletic earlier this month.

Frese received eight votes from the 30-member national media panel that votes on the weekly AP Top 25. Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer and North Carolina State coach Wes Moore each received seven votes.

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“It’s special. Obviously its going to be one I never forget,” said Frese, who also was AP coach of the year 19 years ago when she was at Minnesota. “What makes it so special is having this journey through a pandemic with the most selfless group of people you could go through a pandemic with. No one had Maryland doing anything this season after the graduation and losses of all five starters last year.”

Maryland lost five starters from last year’s Big Ten championship team, but didn’t miss a beat, winning the conference for the sixth time in seven years and going 26-3. The No. 2 seed Terps lost in the Sweet 16 to No. 6 seed Texas, 64-61.

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Geno Auriemma, Muffet McGraw and Kim Mulkey are the only other coaches to win the award multiple times.

“I’m humbled and honored, that’s some pretty elite company,” Frese said.

After losing five starters from last year’s Big Ten championship squad, Frese and her staff reloaded with five newcomers and the return of five sophomores. Frese’s Terps earned a record of 26-3 overall, 17-1 in league play and won the program’s sixth Big Ten title in seven years. Maryland advanced to its ninth Sweet 16 under Frese.

The 2020-21 Terps were the highest scoring team in program history, averaging 90.8 points per game. The Terps also led the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.7).

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Last month, Frese won her 500th game at Maryland, making her the winningest coach in program history. She owns a record of 512-131 (. 796) at Maryland and 569-161 (. 780) in her 22 years as a head coach, which includes stops at Minnesota and Ball State.

This year marked Frese’s fourth Big Ten Coach of the Year honor, having previously won in 2002, 2015 and 2019. She was also named ACC Coach of the Year in 2013 and MAC Coach of the Year in 2000.

Fishing: The White Marlin Open, the world’s largest offshore billfish tournament held annually in Ocean City, announced it will host Marlin Fest, a new free outdoor viewing experience at the 3rd Street Bayside Ballpark that will coincide with the 48th annual fishing tournament. The event, presented by HUK, will be held Aug. 2-6 and will feature a festival-like atmosphere as well as real-time, unobstructed views of the livestream of the tournament weigh-ins via large LED screens.

Held from 3-9 p.m. each day, the event welcomes families to bring lawn chairs and blankets to spread out and enjoy live music and views of the anglers as they bring in their daily catches to nearby Harbour Island. To register to participate in the White Marlin Open tournament, visit whitemarlinopen.com.

Varsity basketball: Former basketball coach Mark Amatucci is retiring as a school counselor at Calvert Hall at the end of the academic year. In two different stints as the Cardinals’ coach, Amatucci won 389 games with a .740 winning percentage. In a three-year span from 1979 to 1982, Amatucci’s team amassed a 91-5 record while capturing three consecutive Baltimore Catholic League regular-season and tournament championships. He also coached at what is now Loyola Maryland, Washington College and Anne Arundel Community College.

Men’s college lacrosse: Maryland senior Jared Bernhardt was named the Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week. Bernhardt had a game-high six points on four goals and two assists to help lead No. 3 Maryland to a 13-9 win over No. 5 Rutgers on Sunday.

College track & field: Navy senior Clayton Thompson was selected as the Patriot League Men’s Track Athlete of the Week after winning three events at the Navy Spring Invitational, clocking three IC4A qualifying times, including a pair of NCAA Division I top 30 times.

College swimming: Loyola Maryland accounted for three of the Patriot League’s four weekly swimming & diving award winners, with Lily Mead, Jack Still and Max Verheyen all recognized after contributing to 10 of the Greyhounds’ 29 event victories against American over the weekend.

College softball: Mount St. Mary’s freshman Bridgette Gilliano was named the Northeast Conference Softball Co-Player and Co-Rookie of the Week after hitting .556 with eight RBIs in a series sweep of Bryant.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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