Bowling Green State University Director of Athletics, Recreation and Wellness Bob Moosbrugger has announced a three-year contract extension for head women’s basketball coach Robyn Fralick. Fralick’s contract now runs through March 31, 2027.
“Robyn Fralick has built a tremendous team culture within the BGSU women’s basketball program,” said Moosbrugger. “She and her staff have elevated our program to a championship level in just three short years with the added challenge of a pandemic. The student-athlete experience in our women’s basketball program is first class and we look forward to continued growth under Coach Fralick’s leadership for years to come.”
Fralick, in her third season as head coach of the Falcons, has orchestrated one of the top turnarounds in the nation. The 2020-21 Falcons, picked to finish in 11th place in the 12-team Mid-American Conference standings, proceeded to win the MAC regular-season title. BGSU went 14-4 in MAC play to earn the number-one seed for the MAC Tournament.
Fralick was named the MAC Coach of the Year, while Lexi Fleming earned MAC Freshman-of-the-Year accolades. Fleming (second team) and junior Kadie Hempfling were chosen to the All-MAC Team, and Nyla Hampton joined Fleming on the MAC’s All-Freshman Team while also being named to the MAC’s All-Defensive Team.
In the tournament, BGSU defeated Eastern Michigan, 63-47, on Wednesday (March 10), for the program’s first league tourney win since 2013. Then, the Falcons topped Buffalo, 80-67, in Friday’s (March 12) semifinal round to advance to the MAC Tournament’s championship game for the first time since 2011. Hempfling and sophomore Elissa Brett each were named to the MAC’s All-Tournament Team.
BGSU currently has a record of 20-6 overall. The Falcons’ six losses have come by a total of 28 points. As of Monday afternoon (March 15), BG was 58th in the NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET), after finishing 253rd in the RPI last season. BGSU leads the MAC in seven statistical categories, including winning percentage, while ranking second among conference schools in eight other categories and third in four more. And, the Falcons are ranked 30th or higher in the nation in a total of nine categories, including steals (eighth), turnover margin (16th), three-point field goals made (20th) and assists (21st).
“I am so grateful for the continued opportunity to lead Bowling Green State University Women’s Basketball,” said Fralick. “My family and I have found a home that we adore at BGSU. I would like to thank President Rogers, Athletic Director Bob Moosbrugger, senior associate athletic director Stacy Kosciak and the entire athletic department administration and support staff for their continued belief in the mission of the program. I would also like to thank my family for their shared passion for the program. Tim, Will and Clara are Bowling Green State University women’s basketball biggest fans.
“When I came here, the goal was to surround the program with great people and get to work. I am so thankful for my staff. They are incredible. I am also so thankful for my team – they are the heartbeat of our program. I look forward to continuing to build this program every day with great people and a shared mission.”
In 2020-21, BG more than quadrupled the program’s MAC win total from last season, and the Falcons have doubled the overall win total from a year ago. Fralick’s first two teams, however, definitely showed glimpses of the turnaround to come.
The Falcons finished with records of 9-21 overall and 2-16 in the MAC in 2018-19, Fralick’s first year at the helm. Those records, however, do not accurately reflect the progress Fralick, her staff and her student-athletes made during the ’18-19 campaign.
Those ’18-19 Falcons saw a total of 13 games decided by eight points or fewer. In fact, 13 of BGSU’s 18 MAC games that season were within three points with under 12 minutes remaining, and no fewer than seven of BG’s league matchups were tied or were a one-possession game in the final minute.
It was a similar story as the Falcons continued hammering away in 2019-20. In Fralick’s second year, BG finished at 10-21 overall and 3-15 in the MAC, but 11 of BGSU’s 21 total losses were by nine points or less. Four of those 11 – as well as an additional loss (by 10 points) – came in overtime.
A total of 19 of BG’s 21 setbacks in 2019-20 were within eight points at some point in the fourth quarter, including no fewer than 10 games that were within two (or fewer) points in the last two minutes of regulation. BGSU outscored opponents, 2241-2239, in the 31 games.
This year, of course, with three freshmen, a sophomore and a junior in the starting lineup, the Falcons’ efforts paid off in the form of a MAC regular-season title. A big reason for the program’s success, however, is the unselfishness of all 15 players on the team. Fralick’s core values and the lessons she has taught off the court have been just as important to the program’s turnaround as the X’s and O’s she and her staff have drawn up in games and practices.
And, under Fralick, the Falcons have continued to excel in the classroom. In May of 2020, it was announced that the women’s basketball team posted a perfect APR single-year rate of 1,000 for the fourth consecutive season, one of just three MAC programs to do so.
In August of 2020, the Falcons were recognized for their success in the classroom, as BGSU was ranked sixth in the entire nation on the 2019-20 Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Academic Top 25 Team Honor Roll.
Fralick was no stranger to success upon her arrival at BGSU in April of 2018. She came to BG after 10 seasons at Ashland University, the final three as head coach. Fralick, the architect of the two greatest offensive seasons in NCAA Division II women’s basketball history, had a head-coaching record of 104-3 in her three years with the Eagles.
Ashland won the NCAA Division II National Championship in 2016-17 before returning to the national championship game and earning a runner-up finish in 2017-18. Fralick She arrived at BGSU with the highest winning percentage – .972 – in NCAA history at any level.
Fralick posted records of 31-2, 37-0 and 36-1 as head coach at AU. Her teams won 73-straight games, the longest streak in NCAA Division II history, before a loss in the 2018 national title game.
The 2016-17 Ashland team scored 3,456 points, the highest single-season total in NCAA Division-II women’s basketball history. That record stood for one year, until the ’17-18 Eagles scored 3,644 points on the season, the highest single-season total in the history of NCAA women’s basketball at any level.
Fralick was an assistant coach during her first three seasons with the Eagles, and was the program’s associate head coach from 2011-12 to 2014-15. Before heading to Ashland, Fralick was an assistant coach at Toledo during the 2007-08 season. She served as the director of basketball operations at Western Michigan from 2005-07, and was an assistant coach at Appalachian State during the 2004-05 campaign.
Fralick enjoyed a stellar playing career at Davidson College (2000-04). When she left the program, she was fourth in career assists, eighth in career steals and 12th in career free throw pct. She played in 114 games and started 64 contests for the Wildcats.
Fralick is a 2004 graduate of Davidson, and earned her undergraduate degree in psychology with a minor in religion. She earned her master’s degree in counselor education from WMU in 2007.
A native of Okemos, Mich., the former Robyn Flewelling had a decorated career at Okemos High School. She earned all-state honors on the hardwood as both a junior and a senior. A three-time all-league selection, she was voted one of the top 100 players in Michigan her final two seasons and was named team MVP. Fralick was inducted into the OHS Athletic Hall of Fame in October of 2017.
Fralick resides in Bowling Green with her husband, Tim, and their children, Will and Clara.