Western Carolina Head Women’s Basketball Coach Heather Kearney today announced the addition of Darcie Vincent as the Associate Head Coach for the Catamount program. Vincent re-enters the ranks of collegiate athletics after spending two seasons at North Myrtle Beach High School first as the junior varsity basketball coach and then becoming the first woman to coach the boy’s varsity basketball team in Horry County.
“First of all, I can’t be more excited for Heather. She is one of the brightest and caring coaches I know. There are amazing things about to happen at Western Carolina University,” Vincent said.
Kearney is no stranger to working with Vincent as she was an Associate Head Coach under Vincent from 2009-14 at Appalachian State.
“I couldn’t be more proud and excited to reunite with my college coach and coaching mentor Darcie Vincent,” Kearney said. “Her technical abilities are second only to her care and regard for mentoring young women. Every single student-athlete on our team will become better from being coached and guided by her, just as I was. Her experience of turning around programs and winning SoCon championships will enhance our staff tremendously.”
“I am honored and proud to be a part of the team at Western Carolina with Coach Kearney,” Vincent added. “The best part of any journey is the people you get to take that journey with, and the excitement circulating around WCU women’s basketball right now is because of just that. This journey with Coach Heather is long overdue and to be back in the SoCon, well, this is going to be fun.”
Vincent spent five seasons, 2008-2014, as the head coach at Appalachian State University. After inheriting a program that had managed just one winning season in the 12 years prior to her arrival, Vincent coached Mountaineers to two Southern Conference regular-season titles, a pair of 25-plus win seasons and three WNIT appearances.
Under her guidance, the Mountaineers posted a 118-75 record during her time in the High Country, including a 77-44 conference record. During her time on the mountain, Vincent coached two SoCon Player of the Year honorees in Sam Ramirez (2010-11) and Anna Freeman (2011-12), a conference Defensive Player of the Year in Freeman (2010-11), Freshman of the Year in Maryah Sydnor (2011-12) and 11 All-SoCon selections. She earned the league’s Coach of the Year honor in 2009-10 and 2010-11, becoming just the second coach in App State history to win the award (Linda Robinson won the award four times in her career).
Perhaps no victory was bigger, though, than Appalachian’s 66-62 upset over NC State in the second round of the WNIT on March 17, 2012. The victory, which marked the school’s first-ever win over the Wolfpack in 25 tries, propelled the Mountaineers into the tournament’s Sweet 16. The win made App State the first SoCon team to advance past the second round of the WNIT since Chattanooga made its way to the semifinals of the tournament in 1984 in what was then a three-round, eight-team competition.
Prior to her coming to Appalachian State, Vincent was widely regarded as one of the nation’s best coaches at the Division II level where she led California (Pa.) to a national championship and was a four-time PSAC coach of the year. During her time with the Vulcans, in which Kearney was the associate head coach, Vincent posted a record of 212-47 including a 35-1 mark during the 2004 season when the Vulcans won an NCAA Division II national title. Also, during Vincent’s tenure, the Vulcan’s reached the NCAA D II Elite Eight two additional times (2002-03, 2007-08). The Vulcans also posted a conference record of 82-14 during her eight seasons at the helm of the program.
No stranger to national success, Vincent coached at Slippery Rock, in which Kearney played for her, for four years prior to her tenure at Cal U and led the team to a PSAC title and the NCAA Division II Elite Eight in 2000. Vincent was 52-54 in her four years at Slippery Rock where she took the team to the NCAA Elite Eight in 1999-2000. Her mark of 23-7 that season stands as the most wins in school history. The team’s three NCAA tournament wins came by an average of 15 points.
She began her coaching career as a graduate assistant at Duquesne, then spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Slippery Rock before taking over the head coaching reins for The Rock in 1996. In two years as an assistant under Laura Williges, Vincent helped Slippery Rock to win seasons, earning 21 and 14 wins.
Vincent earned a bachelor’s degree in business marketing (1992) and a master’s in business administration (1994) from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, where she was named all-Atlantic 10 three times and earned Kodak all-district honors.
She left her mark in the school’s record book, as she still ranks second in career steals (323), third in career scoring (1,538), assists (555) and free throws and fifth in free-throw percentage (.803) and career three-point field goals (151). She holds the distinction as being the first female inducted into the Duquesne Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000. A guard during her playing career, Vincent averaged 14.2 points per game for her career and more than 17 points per game her final three years as a player.
Photo courtesy WCU athleticsSoCon WCU