No Iowa homecomings for Frese, Stringer this season

Rick Brown

ROSEMONT, Ill. – When the 2014-15 Big Ten women's basketball schedule was released, Brenda Frese checked to see if there was a homecoming date.

"The first thing I looked at was to see if we were going back to Iowa this year," Frese said.

But there will be no homecoming this season. Frese and her Maryland team, fresh off a Final Four appearance and the Big Ten favorites this season, don't play at Iowa in 2014-15. Frese is from Cedar Rapids and was an assistant coach at Iowa State.

"You know, when you get to be my age and the mother of twin boys, it's really exciting as you get older to be able to bring back your family to where you grew up and be able to have your relatives, aunts and uncles, family members be a part of it," Frese said. "I think that's what makes it so special is now, 14 years later, I get to bring our team back, bring my family back in front of so many people and be able to share with family and friends."

There was no homecoming date for Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer, either. Her team doesn't play at Iowa this season. Stringer coached Iowa from 1983-84 through 1994-95, with 10 seasons of 20 wins or more, nine NCAA berths and a Final Four appearance in 1994.

"Top to bottom, I see that the Big Ten is a much stronger conference," Stringer said. "During the time I was there it was, if you will, top-heavy with Iowa, Ohio State and Purdue. They were really a part of the national scene on a consistent level."

Stringer still keeps track of Iowa and appreciates the support she received while she was the coach of the Hawkeyes.

"(Iowa coach) Lisa Bluder has passed the success I had at Iowa," Stringer said. "But what is so true is that we really had a genuine love."