The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh announced June 26 the selection of Brad Fischer as head women’s basketball coach.
Fischer replaces Terri Schumacher, who stepped down in March after guiding the Titans the past seven seasons. Fischer’s selection follows a national search of nearly three months.
Fischer spent five seasons as the top assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II UW-Parkside. He also has experience coaching in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC), assisting with the UW-La Crosse women’s basketball team from 2003-06.
Under Fischer and head coach Jenny Kenesie, UW-Parkside improved its record each of his five years with the program. That run culminated with records of 24-7 in 2011 and 23-8 in 2010, the two best victory totals in school history. Last year, Fischer served as UW-Parkside’s assistant athletic director for communications.
“I can’t thank Darryl Sims and the staff at UW Oshkosh enough for this amazing opportunity,” Fischer said. “It’s been a dream of mine to become a head coach and to do so in a program with such a rich history makes me feel incredibly fortunate. Add to that the chance to coach in arguably the best NCAA Division III conference in the country, and I’m not sure I could have found a more desirable destination.”
UW-Parkside compiled a winning record in each of Fischer’s five years as assistant coach. In 2010, the Rangers captured their first Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) division title, reached the title game of the GLVC Tournament and qualified for the NCAA Division II Championship for just the second time in school history.
“We are excited to have Brad lead our women’s basketball program,” said Director of Athletics Darryl Sims. “He brings great enthusiasm and a well thought out plan to recruit academically and athletically sound student-athletes. He also has a commitment to reengaging the basketball alumni and helping the department move forward on the new strategic direction that focuses on the mission, vision and values of the department and the university. Our student-athletes were involved in the coaching search and are excited to work with him.”
UW-Parkside won two games in the 2011 NCAA Division II postseason tournament to reach the Sweet Sixteen. The Rangers fell in the Midwest Regional final to eventual national runner-up Michigan Tech. During the season, UW-Parkside was ranked in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll for the first time in program history.
Fischer’s first recruiting class at UW-Parkside finished with an 89-31 record and three NCAA postseason appearances. Two of his players were named all-region and broke the 1,600-point barrier for their careers. Last season, Jadee Rooney became the first Ranger to receive NCAA Division II All-America mention.
“Recruiting has always been my passion, and I hope the young ladies we bring on campus will feel that,” he said. “For me, it’s all about fulfilling our promises during the recruiting process and creating a memorable experience.”
Fischer’s student-athletes have also performed well in the classroom. This past year, with a squad comprised entirely of his recruits, the women’s basketball program registered a 3.48 grade point average.
At UW-La Crosse, Fischer helped the Eagles improve from a 9-16 team in 2004 to a 19-8 squad in 2006. The winning record was the program’s first in 18 years. UW-La Crosse began the 2006 campaign with 13 straight wins to become the 16th-ranked team in the nation. Fischer recruited and coached Mackenzie Hunter, who finished as the school’s second-leading scorer (1,526 points) and earned WIAC Player of the Year honors.
“Having coached in this conference, I learned first-hand how hard you have to work to compete on a nightly basis,” Fischer said. ”The depth and talent has strengthened since I left. I can’t tell you how much respect I have for the coaches in this league and how they continue to raise the bar year-by-year.”
Fischer also was an assistant basketball coach at Western Wisconsin Technical College from 2000-01 and Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau High School from 2001-03.
Fischer received his bachelor’s degree in 2002 and his master’s degree in 2005 from UW-La Crosse.
UW Oshkosh owns 11 WIAC women’s basketball titles, including most recently in 2006. The Titans won the 1996 NCAA Division III Championship.