Vachon signs contract extension through 2028 at Maine

University of Maine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy and Director of Athletics Jude Killy announced on Tuesday, Jan. 30 that women’s basketball head coach Amy Vachon ’00 has agreed to a contract extension.

The new agreement will retroactively run from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2028 and will replace Vachon’s current contract. Vachon will earn a salary of $210,000 in 2024-2025 with an annual increase of $8,000 through 2028.

“Under the leadership of coach Vachon, the UMaine women’s basketball team is not only winning on the courts, but year after year, our players continue to produce one of the top overall GPAs in the Athletics department, with a 3.88 average last fall semester and contribute in many ways to our university,” said Ferrini-Mundy. “We are grateful for Coach Vachon’s tireless support of our students’ athletics and academic performances.”

Vachon, a four-time America East Coach of the Year honoree, has served as the women’s basketball coach since March 1, 2018 when she signed a four-year contract, officially lifting her previous interim head coaching title. Following an interim head coaching stint in 2017, Vachon is currently in her seventh full season as head coach of the program and her 13th overall on staff.

“I want to thank President Ferrini-Mundy and Jude Killy for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to continue serving as head women’s basketball coach here at UMaine,” said Vachon. “This university, program and state all hold a very special place in my heart and it is an honor to work here. I am so fortunate to work with the incredible young women that are in our program and alongside an amazing staff. I am excited to continue coaching Maine women’s basketball.”  

During her tenure at the helm of the Black Bears, Vachon has led Maine to a pair of NCAA tournament appearances, two America East postseason titles and four America East regular season crowns.

“We are excited to announce a contract extension for Amy,” Killy said. “She has been a successful student-athlete here and is now an extraordinarily successful coach. She, and her teams, strive for comprehensive excellence. They have a championship culture, with assistant coaches and students committed to each other. They dominate in the classroom, win on the court, treat others with respect and are a guiding light in helping our department define our culture. I am thrilled to partner with Amy for this next chapter in Maine Women’s Basketball history.”

Vachon currently boasts a head coaching mark of 143-76 with a 93-25 record against fellow America East competitors. In three of her seven complete seasons, Vachon has guided Maine to 20 or more wins, including a 25-8 campaign in 2018-19 in which Maine captured its second consecutive America East Championship before advancing to the opening round of the NCAA tournament. Under her guidance, Maine has achieved double-digit wins in conference play in six-straight seasons and have made six appearances in the America East title game. Over the past seven seasons, the Black Bears have ranked in the top-tier of home attendance. Earlier this season, the Black Bears hosted a game against Indiana University in front of 5,983 fans.

Throughout Vachon’s tenure, Maine has led the America East in women’s basketball team GPA in four seasons and posted the highest team GPA among UMaine varsity programs in eight semesters. Women’s basketball players have been ranked among the top 20 in the annual Women’s Basketball Coaches Association’s Top 25 Academic Honor Roll four times, recognizing the team for having one of the top grade point averages (GPA) in the country. Maine led the country in the 2020-21 season with the highest team cumulative GPA (3.90) in all of Division I, then earned the third highest GPA the following season. Last year, the Black Bears earned the fifth highest GPA in the country. 

Vachon joined the women’s basketball staff as an assistant coach in 2011 and was promoted to associate head coach in May of 2016. She spent the first six years of her tenure as an assistant or associate coach before taking over as interim head coach in the winter of 2017. 

While she was studying at UMaine, Vachon played for the women’s basketball team and served as a two-time captain. She guided the Black Bears to four-straight NCAA Tournament appearances and was a member of the squad that knocked off Stanford in the first round of the 1999 NCAA Tournament. Maine compiled a four-year record of 87-35 with Vachon on the team, including an impressive record of 61-11 in conference play. She was part of a Maine team that won back-to-back America East Championships in 1996-97 and 1997-98.

Vachon, who is a member of four Hall of Fame classes, holds Maine records for the most assists in a season (234). She also holds the Maine and America East record for assists in a career(759). When hired in 2011, she ranked 22nd all-time in NCAA history in career assists. Vachon earned a spot on the America East All-Tournament Team in 1999.

Vachon, a native of Augusta, Maine and a Cony High School graduate, also excelled in the classroom during her time at UMaine. She graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2000 with a degree in elementary education. In 2002, she earned her Master of Education in school counseling from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While an undergraduate, she was named to the All-Maine Women Honor Society, Dean’s List and America East All-Conference Academic Honor Roll; won the Maine Scholar-Athlete Award and served on the Student-Athlete Advisory Board.

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