May 21, 2014
University of Minnesota head women’s basketball coach Marlene Stollings today announced the addition of Fred Chmiel to her coaching staff. Chmiel, who spent the previous four seasons at Penn State, will serve as the Golden Gophers’ defensive coordinator and will be responsible for opponent scouting and working with the guards.
“It is such a privilege to have arguably the best defensive coordinator and scouting assistant in the game joining our program,” Stollings said. “Fred’s coaching accomplishments are phenomenal and his presence will be immeasurable. He will help elevate our program into the national spotlight. Fred is an extraordinary addition to the Gopher family.”
In his four years at Penn State in the same position, Chmiel helped the Lady Lions to three-straight Big Ten regular-season titles and three NCAA Tournament appearances, including two Sweet Sixteen appearances. Chmiel played a pivotal role in helping the backcourt duo of Alex Bentley and Maggie Lucas develop into first team All-Big Ten and All-America performers, as well as WNBA Draft picks in 2013 and 2014, respectively. He also mentored Dara Taylor, who was named the 2014 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year.
“I am very excited about the opportunity to join Marlene Stollings as an assistant coach at the University of Minnesota. Under her guidance, these student-athletes will flourish and meet their maximum potential; this is a talented team and I look forward to working with them,” Chmiel said. “Minnesota has an incredible administration and staff in place who are passionately engaged in the success of their women's basketball program. This is a tremendous opportunity for my family and me, and we are ecstatic about joining the Gopher family and bringing women's basketball back to national prominence."
Prior to working with the Lady Lions, Chmiel spent two seasons as an assistant coach at San Diego State, where he worked with the perimeter players, scouted opponents and served as the academic liaison. Chmiel helped the Aztecs to back-to-back Mountain West Conference regular-season titles and the 2010 Mountain West Conference Tournament Championship. During his tenure, SDSU earned its first NCAA tournament bid in 13 years in 2009 and again led the Aztecs to the NCAA tournament in 2010.
Chmiel mentored 2010 WNBA Draft pick Jené Morris and all-conference pick Quenese Davis with the Aztecs. Under Chmiel's direction, Morris became just the second player in Mountain West Conference history to win Defensive Player of the Year honors twice and was the first WNBA Draft selection in school history.
Prior to his coaching stint at San Diego State, Chmiel served an as assistant coach under Dawn Staley at Temple for two seasons. He helped the Owls to two Atlantic 10 championships and a pair of NCAA tournament berths. In Chmiel's two seasons in Philadelphia, the Owls posted a 46-21 overall record with a 25-3 mark in A-10 play.
Chmiel has WNBA experience as well, working as an advance scout for the Indiana Fever and Detroit Shock and as an assistant coach for the Charlotte Sting. Additionally, he was the head coach of the San Jose Spiders of the National Women's Basketball League in 2006, where he led the Spiders to their best franchise record and a runner-up finish in the NWBL.
Chmiel began his coaching career in men's basketball with stints as the head coach at Lassen College (1999-05) and at his alma mater Feather River College (1995-99), both of which are in California. He led Lassen College to three Golden Valley Conference titles in his six seasons at the helm. Chmiel also served as an assistant men's coach at Feather River College in 1994-95.
A standout guard at Feather River College in Quincy, Calif., Chmiel averaged 12.5 points and 6.0 assists in two seasons. He was a first team All-Golden Valley Conference choice and was a two-time team Defensive MVP. Following his junior college career, Chmiel played for two seasons at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.
Chmiel earned his bachelor's degree in liberal studies from Excelsior College in Albany, N.Y. He and his wife, Julie, have a daughter, Skylar Rosa.