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Lady Lion Hoops: Chmiel Out, Coleman In As Lady Lion Offseason Continues

by on May 26, 2014 6:00 AM

Penn State women's basketball will have to fill a big hole on the coaching staff.

Assistant coach Fred Chmiel has taken a similar job at Minnesota the university announced.

"It is such a privilege to have arguably the best defensive coordinator and scouting assistant in the game joining our program," Gopher head coach Marlene Stollings said in a statement. "Fred's coaching accomplishments are phenomenal, and his presence will be immeasurable. He will help elevate our program into the national spotlight. Fred is an extraordinary addition to the Gopher family."

Chmiel's departure marks the second this offseason for the Lady Lions. Assistant Maren Walseth was named the head coach of the North Dakota State women's basketball team last month.

While staff departures are part of the profession, Penn State will have to replace two key members of the coaching staff this offseason as well as standout guard Maggie Lucas who is now playing in the WNBA. Penn State won three straight Big Ten titles over the four years Chmiel was an assistant in Happy Valley. Chmiel will now face off against his former team during conference play.

Not all of the news has been negative for the program though. Head coach Coquese Washington announced the addition of Itoro Coleman to the Lady Lion coaching staff as an assistant coach earlier this month. Coleman was an assistant at Penn State from 2007-10 before becoming the head coach at Clemson.

"I am thrilled to have Itoro come back home to Penn State," Washington said. "She is going to bring head coaching experience to our staff, and her familiarity with our program will allow her to hit the ground running. She has an infectious energy and enthusiasm that will help Lady Lion basketball climb to the next level."

This upcoming season will be a true test for the entire Lady Lion program as it looks to replace talent on and off the court while trying to capture yet another Big Ten conference championship.

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Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for StateCollege.com. He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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