Photo credit: Scott L. Huck/Cedarville University
by Public Relations Office
August 18, 2003
The National Christian College Athletic Association has announced that it will honor its top women's basketball player each year with the Kathy Freese National Player of the Year Award which is named after the former Lady Jacket head coach.
The NCCAA women's basketball National Player of the Year Award has never before had a name attached to it - unlike the men's which is named after Pete Maravich. According to NCCAA women's basketball chair and Bethel College (Ind.) head coach Jody Martinez, it has been a two-year process.
"Criteria was to think of someone that supports and represents the mission of the NCCAA and is a great supporter of women's basketball for the NCCAA," said Martinez. "During the last two national championships, the coaches' meetings were held and brainstorming began in 2002 to come up with some names for the award. At this past national championship, Kathy Freese was the overwhelming favorite." The women's basketball committee ultimately sent her name to the NCCAA and the administrative committee for the final approval.
Freese won 140 basketball games while coaching at Cedarville University from 1991 through 2001. She took three teams to the NCCAA National Tournament, was once named the NCCAA District III Coach of the Year, and she was the Mid-Ohio Conference Coach of the Year after guiding the Jackets to a 20-11 record in 1994-95 which was only the second 20-win season in school history. She served a term as the NCCAA national women's basketball chair and has taken several women's basketball missions trips to Europe.
Freese, who also helped out at CU with brief head coaching stints in softball and volleyball, stepped down after 30 years in the coaching profession following the 2000-01 basketball campaign. She spent the 20 years prior to coming to Cedarville coaching basketball and volleyball at Perrysburg Junior and Senior High Schools near Toledo, Ohio.
Freese remains on the faculty at Cedarville University as an assistant professor of physical education in the Department of Exercise and Sport Science.
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