Vanderbilt extends contract of women's basketball coach

Tuesday, July 3, 2012 at 3:51pm
Staff reports

Vanderbilt has extended women’s basketball coach Melanie Balcomb’s contract through 2017.

In 10 years with the program, Balcomb has compiled a 238-94 record and is just 21 wins away from becoming its all-time winningest coach. The Commodores have won at least 20 games and reached the NCAA Tournament every year, including four trips to the Sweet 16.

“Under Melanie's leadership, our women's basketball program is a perennial leader," vice chancellor of athletics David Williams said in a release on Tuesday. “We are eager to continue our long-term investment in our women's basketball staff and student-athletes, as we solidify our place among the nation's best. Coach has done a great job in all areas, including winning three SEC championships while graduating all of her players. She truly understands and represents all that is good about Vanderbilt. We are excited about the future.”

Balcomb, 49, is the SEC’s second-longest tenured coach behind only Georgia’s Andy Landers (33 years). In 18 years as a head coach – with stops at Xavier and Division II Ashland in Ohio – she is 401-198.

At Vanderbilt, the New Jersey native has reached 200 wins quicker than any coach who preceded her. She has led the Commodores to three SEC Tournament championships (2004, 2007 and 2009).

Vanderbilt is coming off a 23-10 season and a trip to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Commodores return 10 of 11 lettermen – 97.6 percent of last year’s scoring – including the reigning SEC scoring champ, junior Christina Foggie. In addition, they add six incoming freshmen for 2012-13.

“I am really excited to continue my long relationship with Vanderbilt University and the Nashville community,” Balcomb said. "It’s an incredible school and special place, has great fan support, and attracts world class student-athletes. My thanks go out to [chancellor] Nick [Zeppos] and David for their continued commitment to Vanderbilt women's basketball excellence, as well as to the many student-athletes who have contributed to the success of our program over the years.

“I remain committed to the quest for more championships while making a positive impact on these young women's lives.”