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Fred Chmiel

Fred Chmiel

Fred Chmiel reunited with South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley in June 2015, marking their third partnership, including one season in which he coached Staley in the WNBA. In 16 seasons as an assistant coach at the college level, Chmiel has been part of 10 conference regular-season titles, six conference tournament titles, 15 NCAA Tournament appearances, including nine Sweet 16 berths and two National Championships, and his teams have produced 12 WNBA draft picks. His work on the recruiting trail helped deliver the Gamecocks’ No. 1 signing class in the nation in 2019 and 2021.

Working most closely with the frontcourt in his seven seasons with the Gamecocks, Chmiel’s efforts have helped the team to a pair of perfect 16-0 SEC records (2015-16, 2019-20), the 2017 and 2022 National Championships, an SEC-record four-consecutive SEC Tournament crowns (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018), the program’s first No. 1 final ranking in 2019-20 and its first wire-to-wire No. 1 ranking in 2021-22. He has worked with five All-SEC forwards, including a pair of SEC and National Players of the Year in A’ja Wilson and Aliyah Boston, who have also combined to win the Lisa Leslie Center of the Year Award in five of its six years in existence.

Chmiel spent the 2014-15 season at Minnesota where he served as the Golden Gophers’ defensive coordinator while also working with the guards. Despite a season-ending injury to a key member of his group, Chmiel helped the Gophers rank eighth in the nation in assists per game and 26th in the country in assist-to-turnover ratio. He also lent his WNBA experience to center Amanda Zahui B. as she prepared for her future in the league, beginning with being the No. 2 pick in the draft.

In a similar role for four seasons at Penn State, Chmiel was part of three straight Big Ten regular-season championship teams and saw the Lady Lions advance to the NCAA Sweet 16 twice in their three tournament appearances. Two of his guards went on earn All-America status and be drafted into the WNBA, and a third earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year honors.

Chmiel worked with perimeter players and served as the academic liaison at San Diego State for two seasons, during which the Aztecs won back-to-back Mountain West Conference regular-season titles and the 2010 Mountain West Conference Tournament championship. In his first season, 2008-09, San Diego State earned its first NCAA Tournament bid in 13 years, and Chmiel mentored another eventual WNBA Draft pick to win MWC Defensive Player of the Year honors in consecutive seasons.

Staley tapped Chmiel for his first women’s college assistant coaching role during her penultimate season at Temple (2006-07), following his lone season as the head coach of the San Jose Spiders in the National Women’s Basketball League (2006). The two combined to guide the Owls to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances and a share of the 2008 Atlantic 10 regular-season title.

Chmiel first impressed Staley in 2005 when the then-Temple head coach was playing for the WNBA’s Charlotte Sting, for which he was an assistant coach. He also spent time in the league serving as an advance scout for the Indiana Fever and Detroit Shock.

Chmiel’s coaching career began at Feather River College (Calif.), where he had also begun his college playing career. After one season as an assistant coach for Feather River’s men’s team, Chmiel accepted the head position and led the program for four seasons (1995-99). He moved on to become the head coach at Lassen College (Calif.) and guided his teams to three Golden Valley Conference titles in his six seasons.

As a player, Chmiel thrived at Feather River, earning First-Team All-Golden Valley Conference honors before continuing his career and education at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.

A graduate of Excelsior College in Albany, N.Y., where he earned his bachelor’s degree in liberal studies, Chmiel went on to earn a master’s degree in coaching and athletics administration from Concordia University in 2022. He and his wife, Julie, have two daughters, Skylar and Ivy.

 

The Chmiel Capsule

Coaching Experience

South Carolina, assistant coach, 2015-present
Minnesota, assistant coach, 2014-15
Penn State, assistant coach, 2010-14
San Diego State, assistant coach, 2008-10
Temple, assistant coach, 2006-08
San Jose Spiders, NWBL, head coach, 2006
•   NWBL Runner-Up, 2006
Charlotte Sting, WNBA, assistant coach, 2005
Lassen College (Calif.), men’s head coach, 1999-2005
•   Three Golden Valley Conference titles, 2000, 2002, 2004
Feather River College (Calif.), men’s head coach, 1995-99
Feather River College (Calif.), men’s assistant coach, 1994-95

Playing Experience

Alaska-Fairbanks, 1993-94
Feather River College (Calif.), 1991-92
•   All-Golden Valley Conference First Team, 1992

Education

Excelsior College, bachelor of arts in liberal studies, 2001
Concordia University, master of arts in coaching and athletics administration, 2022

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