On April 8, 2022 Loyola named Allison Guth as the 10th head coach in women’s basketball history. Since then, Guth has been working to hire and retain her staff for the upcoming season. If you’d like to read up on Coach Guth, check out our article on her right: here. But this article is about her supporting staff. About a month later, Guth has her staff, and there are lots of exciting pieces to talk about. There are a few areas, which I’m sure Guth made sure to target during the coaching search. I’m going to be talking about these coaching traits about her 5 new staff members: Marsha Frese (pronounced freeze), Jordan McCann, Sheila Boykin, Abi Scheid, and Chanise Jenkins.
The majority of the staff has extensive coaching experience or professional playing experience. Two of Guth’s staff members have played overseas, while Assistant Coach Marsha Frese has coached for a total of 20 years. Frese is known for her recruiting acumen. She has recruited and developed 21 student-athletes who have played professionally after college. Frese’s coaching trail has led her to many different stops since she started at Ball State in 1999. Her other stops include Minnesota, Maryland, Illinois, Northern Illinois, UMKC, and San Diego State. Otherwise, both assistant coach Boykin and Director of Player Development Jenkins have played professionally overseas. In addition to playing, Chanise Jenkins secured a coaching internship with the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun. That is a unique experience that will undoubtedly help her coaching acumen. Although Loyola has not had an extensive history of their players playing professionally, three staff members with knowledge of how to help players play professionally will help recruit players to come to Loyola in search of that goal.
The second characteristic that most of the staff have in common is a connection to Illinois and also to Chicago. Their connections to the local area may help them recruit better and increase the attention the program has within the Chicagoland area. Assistant Coach McCann was super pumped about returning to Chicago and building on Loyola’s tradition. McCann graduated from University of Illinois before starting his coaching career. Similarly, Coach Frese coached at Illinois. While Frese was there, she actually coached Allison Guth. Additionally, both Jenkins and Director of Basketball Operations Scheid played their college basketball in the Chicagoland area. Jenkins was an all Big East player at DePaul, while Scheid was an all Big Ten player at Northwestern. That sort of high quality achievement in women’s basketball doesn’t go unnoticed. Chicagoland players will want to gravitate toward successful players from the area. Their newly found Chicago area presence will give them a step up on other mid major recruiting competition.
The last trait that Guth’s new staff has in common is what I like to call New Faces From Different Places. The entirety of Guth’s staff has never coached or played a game in the Atlantic 10 or in the Missouri Valley Conference for that matter. Now some people might think of that as a disadvantage, but I believe it might be helpful for them in their first year in the Atlantic 10. Sometimes in sports rookies have this blissful ignorance about the pressure and magnitude of the stage. Alternatively, a coaching staff may benefit from other team’s not knowing much about their style of play or coaching techniques. During this first year together as a staff, I’m looking for Coach Guth and her staff to implement their play style while tweaking it to fit their personnel and opponents along the way. The diversity in coaching experience, playing experience, recruiting techniques, and success will hopefully help this staff come together and build something new and impressive at Loyola Chicago.