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Michigan State Women’s Basketball: Robyn Fralick is home run hire

This is a good hire.

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Robyn Fralick
© Nikos Frazier / Journal & Courier via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Michigan State women’s basketball had to replace Suzy Merchant this offseason and it did so with Bowling Green’s Robyn Fralick.

Replacing a coach like Suzy Merchant is never easy because of the type of leader not only she was in the Michigan State women’s basketball program but at the school as well. Merchant will be missed but the women’s basketball program is headed in a new direction.

The news broke early on Friday that Bowling Green head coach Robyn Fralick is headed to Michigan State to be the next head coach, replacing Merchant.

According to Dave Briggs, who is a sports columnist for the Toledo Blade, this is a “home run hire for Michigan State.” Dave further went on to describe that Bowling Green was a team that plays “fun, run-and-gun, in-your-face style.” This type of play has led to Fralick turning a program like Bowling Green into a contender and now she is headed back to East Lansing which, being a graduate from Okemos, is going to be like a homecoming. Now that it has been announced, next is to talk about the coach and why Michigan State fans should love this hire.

Fralick started her coaching career as an assistant at Appalachian State. She moved around until 2015 when she was announced as the head coach of Ashland, a Division 2 school. During her time at Ashland, she went 104-3 with a national title, a regional semifinal appearance, and a runner-up in her last year. After her third year, Bowling Green decided to call and make the hire.

Before this hire, Bowling Green was one of the worst teams in the MAC. This showed in Fralick’s first year as Bowling Green went 9-21. Four years later, Bowling Green finished the season 31-7 with a Final Four appearance in the NIT. This is a dramatic improvement from a school that has not been good at women’s basketball before she came.

During her coaching career at Bowling Green, Fralick had an 88-73 record. While this record might not stand out, this just shows that she can turn around a program in five years or less which is a good thing for Michigan State.

The other good thing, especially for Fralick, is that this Michigan State team is in a much better position than what she walked in to at Bowling Green. This past season, Michigan State beat a very good team in Indiana and got an invite to the NIT, which Michigan State declined. If Fralick can turn around Bowling Green, I fully believe she can bring great talent and a great team to Michigan State.

While it might take a few years, Fralick’s success described above should get Michigan State fans very excited and really demonstrates why this was called a “home run hire.”

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