Amy Vachon named UMaine women’s basketball interim head coach

University of Maine Director of Athletics Karlton Creech has announced that Amy Vachon will serve as interim head coach of the women’s basketball team for the 2017-18 season, effective April 5, 2017.

Vachon has led the team since Jan. 6, when she took over head coaching duties after it was announced that coach Richard Barron would be taking an extended medical leave.

“Amy stepped up at a difficult time during the 2016-17 season in coach Richard Barron’s absence and handled the head coaching duties with poise and confidence,” Creech said. “As coach Barron takes the time needed to seek improvement for his health, we are once again confident in coach Vachon’s ability to successfully lead the program over the next year, and we thank her for her loyalty and service to the University of Maine.”

At the helm, Vachon guided the Black Bears back to their second-straight America East Championship game. Maine went 11-7 under Vachon, who guided UMaine to America East postseason victories over Binghamton and top-ranked New Hampshire.

During the regular season, Vachon helped lead UMaine to an 84-71 victory over eventual league champion Albany. The 84 points were Maine’s highest single-game point total of the season.

“I want to thank Karlton Creech and President Susan Hunter for this opportunity,” said Vachon. “Although it is not an ideal situation, I could not be more excited to continue working with our team. We have a fabulous group returning and the incoming recruits fit our culture, believe in our standards and are great basketball players. I also want to thank coach Barron for his continued support of me and this program. He has poured his heart and soul into this program and I have been fortunate to have him as a mentor and a friend. I am looking forward to a tremendous 2017-18 basketball season.”

Vachon, who was promoted to associate head coach in May 2016, joined the staff as an assistant coach in May 2011. Vachon also has served as recruiting coordinator for the Black Bears.

Prior to joining the UMaine staff, Vachon was the head girls’ basketball coach at Catherine McAuley High School, guiding the squad to the 2011 Maine Class A State Championship.

Vachon was a two-year captain for the UMaine women’s basketball team and led the Black Bears to four-straight NCAA Tournament appearances. She was a member of the 1999 team that knocked off Stanford in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. While Vachon played at UMaine, the Black Bears compiled a four-year record of 87-35, including a 61-11 record in conference play. She was a key player for the Black Bears when they captured back-to-back America East Championships in 1996–97 and 1997–98. Vachon was named to the America East All-Tournament Team in 1999.

Vachon, who was inducted into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame in 2016, holds UMaine records for the most assists in a season, with 234. She also holds the UMaine and America East record for assists in a career, with 759. When hired in 2011, she ranked 22nd all-time in NCAA history in career assists.

Vachon is the daughter of former Cony High School girls basketball coach Paul Vachon. At Cony, she played on two-state championships teams, was a four-year All-State Basketball selection and a two-time Gatorade Player of the Year. In 1996, she was named Miss Maine Basketball and the High School Athlete of the Year.

Vachon excelled in the classroom and knows the demands of Division I student-athletes. At UMaine, she was selected to the All-Maine Women Honor Society and made the dean’s list and the America East All-Conference Academic Honor Roll. She was a Maine Scholar-Athlete Award winner and a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Board.

Vachon graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2000 with a degree in elementary education. In 2002, she earned her Master’s of Education in school counseling at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

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