"We are extremely happy to welcome Marsha Frese to the UMKC family," UMKC Athletic Director Tim Hall said. "Her strong record of recruiting in the Midwest speaks for itself, and she has an impressive and diverse pedigree of coaching in her background. She has learned from some of the best, and she has all of the tools necessary to be a successful head coach."
A native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the 15-year coaching veteran is renowned for her top-notch recruiting classes at every place she has been.
"I couldn't be more excited about joining the UMKC family," Frese said. "After speaking with Athletics Director Tim Hall and Senior Woman Administrator Carla Wilson, it was obvious to me that everything is in place to be successful. Candace Whitaker did a phenomenal job building this program over the last several years and after speaking with the team during the interview process I knew I wanted to coach them. They have a passion and a strong desire to continue to build on the success that they had this season and I am ecstatic to have the opportunity to help lead them. UMKC couldn't be a better fit for me and my family."
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.
As a player, Frese excelled on both the high school and college levels. A former Miss Iowa Basketball, Frese helped Cedar Rapids Washington High School to the 1988 Iowa state title. During her prep career, she led the state in scoring twice (1989 and 1990) and was named 1990 Miss Iowa Basketball by both USA Today and Gatorade Circle of Champions. A two-time first team All-Stater, Frese finished her high school career as one of the Top 25 all-time leading scorers in Iowa history. She has since been inducted into the Washington High School Athletic Hall of Fame.
At Rice, Frese lettered all four years and finished her career ranked sixth in three-pointers made. She also left with the Rice school record for best three-point field goal percentage in a single season.
Before embarking on her coaching career, Frese spent four years as a television sportscaster. After graduating from Rice University, she was the first female sports anchor for KALB-TV in Alexandria, La., and also served brief stints as a color analyst for Rice University and Louisiana College radio broadcasts.
Frese is married to Jason Elliott. The couple's first child, Kylan Nicole, was born on July 29, 2005. On June 9, 2011, the family welcomed their second child, Camden J.
UMKC associate head coach Bruce Erickson will remain on staff in his current capacity, while the rest of the staff positions will be announced at a later date.