July 3, 2012
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Vice Chancellor David Williams is pleased to announce that the university has rewarded Vanderbilt women's basketball coach Melanie Balcomb with a contract extension which will keep her in Nashville through 2017.
"Under Melanie's leadership, our women's basketball program is a perennial leader," Williams said. "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, who has averaged better than 23 wins per season over the last decade, is just 19 wins from becoming the program's all-time winningest coach. She is 238-94 (.717) in 10 seasons leading the Commodores and was the fastest coach in Vanderbilt history to reach 200 wins with the program.
"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 Nick (Zeppos, Chancellor) 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," Balcomb added. "I remain committed to the quest for more championships while making a positive impact on these young women's lives."
For her career, which includes stints at Ashland and Xavier, Balcomb has posted a record of 401-198 (.669). She picked up her 400th career win this past season when the Commodores defeated Mississippi State in the opening round of the SEC Tournament.
During all 10 seasons at Vanderbilt, Balcomb's squads have won at least 20 games and received an NCAA Tournament bid, including four Sweet Sixteen appearances. She is one of just eight coaches in the nation to have led a team to the NCAA Tournament each of the last 10 years. Known for her offensive prowess, Balcomb's teams also consistently rank among the nation's best in field goal and three-point field goal percentage.
Along the way, the Commodores have captured three SEC Tournament Championships during Balcomb's tenure (2004, 2007 and 2009). She has also led Vanderbilt to wins in nearly 70% of its Southeastern Conference games, ranking second among active coaches in the league.
Individually, Balcomb has mentored seven All-Americans and had seven players drafted by the WNBA, including two first round picks (Chantelle Anderson, 2003 and Carla Thomas, 2007). In 2009, she coached the WBCA National Defensive Player of the Year, Jennifer Risper, and National Scholar Athlete of the Year, Christina Wirth.
Balcomb, who this fall will be the second-longest tenured coach in the SEC, will lead a squad into the 2012-13 season that returns 10 of 11 players and 97.6% of its scoring. The list of returners includes five players who received All-SEC honors in 2011.
Season tickets for the 2012-13 campaign can be purchased by visiting VUCommodores.com or by calling 615-322-GOLD (4653).