On April 8, 2022, Loyola named Allison Guth the 10th head coach in women’s basketball history. Since then, Guth has struggled to hire and retain staff for the upcoming season. If you want to know more about Coach Guth, check out our article on his right: here. But this article is about its support staff. About a month later, Guth has his staff, and there are plenty of exciting pieces to tell. There are a few areas, which I’m sure Guth made sure to target when looking for coaches. I will talk about these coaching traits of his 5 new staff members: Marsha Frese (pronounced gel), Jordan McCann, Sheila Boykin, Abi Scheid and Chanise Jenkins.
The majority of staff have extensive coaching or professional playing experience. Two of Guth’s staff have played overseas, while assistant coach Marsha Frese has coached for a total of 20 years. Frese is known for her sense of recruitment. She recruited and developed 21 student-athletes who played professionally after college. Frese’s training trail has taken her to many different stops since she started at Ball State in 1999. Her other stops include Minnesota, Maryland, Illinois, Northern Illinois, ‘UMKC and the State of San Diego. Otherwise, Assistant Coach Boykin and Director of Player Development Jenkins played professionally overseas. In addition to playing, Chanise Jenkins got a coaching internship with the Connecticut Sun of the WNBA. This is a unique experience that will undoubtedly help him develop his keen sense of training. Although Loyola does not have a long history of playing professionally, three staff members who know how to help players play professionally will help recruit players to come to Loyola in search of that goal.
The second characteristic that most staff members have in common is a connection to Illinois and also to Chicago. Their connections to the area can help them better recruit and increase program awareness in the Chicagoland area. Assistant Coach McCann was very excited to return to Chicago and continue the Loyola tradition. McCann graduated from the University of Illinois before beginning his coaching career. Likewise, Coach Frese coached at Illinois. While Frese was there, she actually coached Allison Guth. Additionally, Jenkins and Director of Basketball Operations Scheid played their college basketball in the Chicagoland area. Jenkins was a Big East player at DePaul, while Scheid was a Big Ten player at Northwestern. This kind of high-quality achievement in women’s basketball doesn’t go unnoticed. Chicagoland players will want to gravitate to the region’s successful players. Their new presence in the Chicago area will give them a leg up on other major recruiting competitions.
The final trait Guth’s new staff have in common is what I like to call New Faces From Different Places. Guth’s entire staff has never coached or played a game in the Atlantic 10 or the Missouri Valley Conference for that matter. Now, some people might see that as a downside, but I think it might come in handy for them in their freshman year in the Atlantic 10. Sometimes in sports, rookies have this blissful ignorance of the pressure and the magnitude of the step. Alternatively, a coaching staff can benefit from the fact that other teams don’t know much about their style of play or coaching techniques. In this first year together as a team, I’m looking for Coach Guth and his team to implement their style of play while adjusting it to fit their personnel and opponents along the way. The diversity of training experience, playing experience, recruiting techniques, and success will hopefully help these staff come together and build something new and awesome at Loyola Chicago.