Yow's Hires: Olympic Sports

Last week we broke down the three basketball and football hires Debbie Yow has had to make as an athletics director. Today we're going to look at some of the notable hires she made in the non-revenue sports.

Here is a look at some of the notable non-revenue hires that Debbie Yow made while serving as athletics director at the University of Maryland.

Brenda Frese (Women's Basketball, 2002-Present)

Chalk this one up as a recruiting victory for Debbie Yow. Brenda Frese was the hot women's coaching prospect in 2002 after leading Minnesota to a second round NCAA appearance.

Brenda Frese

She was named National Coach of the Year and was essentially being recruited by Maryland, Ohio State, and Florida for their open head coaching position. Yow was able to land Frese in April of the same year the men's team won the national title.

Frese was hired to turnaround a once-storied program that had been successful for much of Chris Weller's career but had struggled recently. A previous power in the ACC, the Terps hadn't won a league title since 1989. Frese did even better than that.

Maryland's win total improved every season the first four years that Frese was at the school, as she won 10, 18, 22, and an outstanding 34 games in 2005-2006. That season the Terps finished 34-4, 14-3 in the ACC and won the school's first ever national title by defeating Duke 78-75 in the title game.

Maryland continues to win and win under Frese, as the team won its first regular season and tournament title in twenty years in 2009. She is regarded as one of the top women's coaches in the country and has turned Maryland into a national power.

Pat Santoro (Wrestling, 2003-2008)

When Debbie Yow arrived at Maryland long-time wrestling coach John McHugh was at the helm, having served as head coach since 1979. Maryland had been dominant in the ACC prior to McHugh's arrival, winning an astounding 20 straight ACC titles from 1954-1973. It was the premier program in the conference but started its decline in the early 1970s.

Pat Santoro

McHugh led a solid program that faced severe financial restrictions and could never capture that elusive ACC title. When he retired in 2003, Yow had brought financial stability to the program (fully funding scholarships) and set out to hire a replacement capable of restoring Maryland's rich tradition.

Enter Pat Santoro. A native of Bethlehem, Pa., Santoro was a four-time All-American and two-time National Champion at the University of Pittsburgh, and just as impressive as a highly-regarded assistant coach. He was a driving force behind the success at power Lehigh and was named National Assistant of the Year in 2003.... when Maryland just so happened to be looking for a new head coach.

Given his credentials, Yow's hiring of Santoro made a lot of sense, and he looked to transform the program. Things started slowly, as the Terps went 7-23-1 and 0-9 in the ACC in Santoro's first two seasons, but Yow remained patient. Maryland went 8-10 in Santoro's third year but finished 4-1 in ACC play.

The next two years proved that the Terps were officially back. Maryland posted a 17-5 record in 2006-07 and a 16-4 mark in 2007-08 while going 10-0 in ACC play those two seasons. In 2008, Santoro led the Terps to the program's first ACC title in 35 years; a feat which earned Santoro ACC Coach of the Year honors.

He would be hired to be the head coach at Lehigh following the season, but he had completely turned Maryland's wrestling program around.

Kerry McCoy (Wrestling, 2008-Present)

An All-American wrestler at Penn State, McCoy posted a record of 150-18 in his four seasons. He captured a pair of NCAA Championships in 1994 and 1997 and won three Big Ten titles. After going 19-17 in his first 36 matches at Penn State, McCoy lost just once in his final 132 with an 88-match winning streak.

Kerry McCoy

McCoy spent eight seasons as an assistant coach at Penn State and Lehigh before he received his first head coaching job at Stanford in 2005. In three seasons as head coach at Stanford, McCoy transformed the Cardinal into a national contender after inheriting a team that went 6-8-1 in 2004-05.

He coached several individual national champions, and in his final season he led the Cardinal to a 19th-place finish at the NCAA Championships this past season which was the second-best finish in program history. Stanford went 13-4 with a 6-3 mark in the Pac-10 while finishing second in the conference championships, its best showing ever.

While McCoy was building Stanford's program, Maryland's was being built by Pat Santoro. The young head coach would leave Maryland following the 2008 season to return to Lehigh, and Yow knew she had to make a hire that would keep the program trending upward. She did just that by inking McCoy.

McCoy came in and was named ACC Coach of the Year in 2008-2009 after leading the Terps to an ACC Title. He followed that up in 2009 by guiding the Terrapins to a school record 19 dual meet wins while facing one of the most difficult and demanding schedules in the nation. Maryland defeated five ranked opponents and took sixth place at the Midlands Championships and seventh at the NWCA National Duals, two of the most prestigious events in college wrestling.

How did McCoy do this year? He led the Terps to another ACC title and a 16-4 overall record. Maryland's ACC title gave the program its third in four seasons and second under McCoy.

Safe to say that thus far it looks like Yow's second wrestling coach hire at Maryland is working out well.

Dave Cottle (Maryland, 2001-2010)

The state of Maryland is a hotbed for lacrosse talent, and the University of Maryland is a traditional power in the sport. The Terps had 21 conference titles and 17 NCAA appearances before Yow took over in 1994, but hadn't won a national title since 1975 and last reached a final since 1979.

Dave Cottle

Long-time head coach Dick Edell was at the helm, but he retired in 2001 due to health reasons after leading the Terps to two ACC titles and three NCAA finals appearances under Yow.

She had several good options to choose from for the vacant head coach position, including interim coach Dave Slafkosky, but Yow selected long-time Loyola College head coach Dave Cottle to fill the vacancy. Cottle was extremely successful at Loyola, where he spent 19 seasons as the head coach and led the Greyhounds to 14 straight NCAA tournament appearances.

Cottle coached nine seasons at Maryland, totaling a record of 99-45 (.688). He guided the Terps to the NCAA tournament in his last eight seasons, including Final Four appearances in 2003, 2005 and 2006. Cottle also led Maryland to ACC championships in 2004 and 2005 and was twice named the ACC coach of the year.

However, he was hired to win a national title. Despite his success, that was the goal of the program and Yow believed he had the resources to win the school's first in 30-plus years. In a sport when there are only four playoff games and a handful of truly competitive teams, the only real goal for a school like Maryland is to win the NCAA championship.

Cottle was told prior to the 2010 season that he needed to make it deep into the NCAA Tournament to secure his job, and he went out and lost dropped a 7-5 quarterfinal to Notre Dame. He was informed by Yow less than 24 hours later that his contract would not be renewed.

Cathy Reese (Maryland, 2007-Present)

Cindy Timchal already had the women's lacrosse program at Maryland rolling when Debbie Yow took over in 1994, and under Yow's leadership she took it even further. Timchal, who took over in 1991, won a NCAA national title in 1992, the second in the program's history, and won an astounding seven straight from 1995-2001.

Cathy Reese

Timchal hit a dry spell in the early part of the decade following the 2001 title, reaching just the semis in her final five years at the school. She left following the 2006 season to take over the program down the road at the Naval Academy, and now Yow would get a chance to work her magic and land a quality coach who could restore the program's tradition.

Maryland, which has fantastic facilities and is located in a rich recruiting base, had several quality options that Yow could pursue. Head coaches at powers such as Northwestern, Dartmouth, Stanford, and Duke were all Maryland grads and were considered potential candidates.

Yow chose to hire an alum, but went in a direction that may have surprised some by hiring University of Denver head coach Cathy Reese. A former star at Maryland as a player, she played on four national title teams and was an assistant coach on three others.

At the University of Denver she led the Pioneers to their most successful season in school history in 2006. Denver finished that season with a 16-5 record and rattled off 11-straight wins over the course of 43 days. The 11-game win streak was more victories than the school had seen in an entire season as its eight wins in 2003 was the most in a season for the Pioneers prior to 2006.

For a program that saw limited success since its inception in 1999, Reese proved that she is a winner. With a 4-1 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) record, the Pioneers won its first-ever regular season championship in 2006. For her efforts, Reese was named the 2006 MPSF Coach of the Year.

Her success and natural ties to the program made her an obvious choice to Yow, who was looking for a coach that could return the program to national prominence after seeing the team lose in the first round of the NCAA Tournament the previous two seasons.

Reese came in and won right away. She took the Terps to the NCAA quarterfinals her first two seasons and won the elusive national title in 2010, finishing 22-1 overall. She has won four straight ACC titles and was named ACC Coach of the Year in 2007, 2009, and 2010 and National Coach of the Year in 2010.

With a team that entered 2011 ranked No. 1 in the country, it looks like Yow made the right choice in hiring Reese.

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