Amy Vachon - Women's Basketball Coach (2024)

Amy Vachon, currently in her seventh full season at the helm of the Black Bears and her 13th year on staff, has guided Maine to three NCAA Tournament appearances, three America East tournament titles, and five America East regular season championships during her tenure as head coach. Vachon has been named the league's coach of the year five times; more than any other head coach in the history of the America East conference.

Vachon signed a contract extension as Maine's head coach on Jan. 30, 2024. The new agreement will run until June 30, 2028.

Vachon, who spent the final 18 games of the 2016-17 season at the helm of the Black Bears' staff, was officially named the interim head coach for the 2017-18 season on April 5 of 2017.

A champion as a player and coach with the Black Bears, Vachon has built a culture of winning at the University of Maine. On the court and in the classroom, year after year, the Black Bears have excelled at all they've done under Coach Vachon's guidance.

The Black Bears captured the America East regular season crown and defeated Vermont 64-48 in the America East championship game to earn its 10th trip to the NCAA Tournament during the 2023-24 season. For the fourth time under Vachon's guidance, the Black Bears achieved 20+ wins as they ended the season with a mark of 24-10, including a 14-2 showing in the league play. Vachon was named America East Coach of the Year for a record fifth time, surpassing her former head coach Joanne P. McCallie as the only coach in league history to earn five coach of the year honors from the America East.

In the 2022-23 season, Vachon navigated injuries to key players to again mentor Maine to double-digit wins in league play (11-5) as the Black Bears would advance to the America East semifinal round.

Another season, another trip to the America East title game under the guidance of Vachon in 2021-22 as she led Maine to an appearance in the title game for the seventh consecutive season after the Black Bears captured the America East regular season title. Vachon was crowned the America East Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season, and the fourth time in her first five years, to match former Maine head coach Joanne P. McCallie as the only coaches in league history to win the award four times. After a challenging non-conference slate, Vachon guided Maine to a 14-game win streak in conference action. Academically, the Black Bears shined once again with the third highest team GPA in all of Division-I.

Vachon guided the Black Bears through the challenging 2020-21 season, leading Maine to a 17-3 overall mark in the shortened COVID-19 season while earning her third America East Coach of the Year honor. The Black Bears earned their sixth-straight trip to the America East title game after entering the tournament as the number one seed with a 13-2 league mark. Even more impressive was the dedication and commitment to the classroom shown by the Black Bears as Maine earned the highest team cumulative grade point average (3.90) in all of Division-I.

In 2019-20, Vachon and the Black Bears again challenged themselves with a difficult non-conference slate. After suffering key injuries in the early part of the season, Vachon rallied the Black Bears to a return to the America East title game. Although the Black Bears were unable to compete in the Championship game due to COVID-19, Maine ended the season on a high note. Under Vachon's guidance, Maine ended the season riding the nation's eighth-longest win streak (10). The Black Bears capped the season with 12 league wins, marking the third-straight year under Vachon in which the team tallied 12 or more regular season league wins. After losing two starters to injury, Vachon played a key role in the development of several role players into key starting positions, including the development of All-Conference standouts Maeve Carroll and Dor Saar along with the on-court growth of America East Rookie of the Year, Anne Simon. The Black Bears not only finished strong on the court, but off it as well. Maine earned the No. 17 ranking on the WBCA Top 25 Academic Honor Roll after compiling a 3.655 cumulative GPA.

Vachon followed up her first full season at the helm by earning her second-straight America East Coach of the Year honor, becoming just the sixth coach in America East history to win the award in back-to-back seasons. After guiding the Black Bears to their second consecutive America East Regular Season and Tournament Championships, Vachon's team earned the league's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament for the second time in as many seasons. Maine's 25-8 record marked the fourth time in the last five seasons in which it topped the 20-win plateau and also tied for the third-most victories in a single season in UMaine history. The Black Bears were ranked in every edition of the College Insider Mid-Major Top-25 poll throughout the season, ending at No. 13. Maine, which put together a 14-game win streak under Vachon, led the America East in scoring (66.7) while setting new school and league records for 3-point field goals made in a season (273). The Black Bears challenged themselves early in the season, facing the 56th toughest schedule in the nation through their first 13 games, highlighted by an 85-73 victory on the road at North Carolina. Maine finished the season seeded 54th in the Ratings Performance Index (RPI). The Black Bears were dominant in league play, defeating eight conference opponents by 20 points or more with 13 of its 15 regular season league wins coming by double digits. Individually under Vachon's leadership and guidance, the Black Bears earned seven postseason honors including Blanca Millan who was named the America East Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year. All five starters on the 2018-19 team earned all-conference honors.

In her first full season as head coach of the Black Bears, Vachon earned America East Coach of the Year honors after leading Maine to a 23-10 overall mark. Under her guidance, the Black Bears were crowned with their first America East Tournament Championship since 2004, advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the eighth time in school history. Maine entered the America East Tournament as the No. 1 seed after completing a 16-point, come from behind victory over UAlbany in the regular season finale to clinch the regular season title. The Black Bears ended the challenging campaign with the No. 70 RPI in the country. Maine continued to impress with its home court advantage, leading the America East in attendance for a fourth-straight season after going 12-2 on its home court. Vachon's offensive strategy guided the Black Bears to numerous shooting records including a Maine and America East single season high of 256 three-point field goals made.

Vachon, who took over head coaching duties after Coach Richard Barron stepped aside due to health complications, guided the Black Bears to an 11-7 mark during her time at the helm in 2016-17. Vachon led the Black Bears back to the America East title game, along the way knocking off No. 1 seeded New Hampshire in the America East semifinals. Vachon also guided UMaine to key wins, including an 84-71 victory over eventual America East Champions UAlbany. Under her guidance, the Black Bears posted an impressive 7-1 record at home.

In addition to the impressive on court statistics under Vachon, the University of Maine Women’s Basketball team has excelled in the classroom as well. The 2018-2019 team was first in the America East in with a 3.5 GPA for the season. This is the fourth out of five years in which UMaine women's basketball has been tops in America East. Also, 11 out of 13 players earned UMaine Scholar Athlete awards, each earning a 3.0+ grade point average.

Vachon was promoted to associate head coach in May of 2016. She spent the first six years of her tenure as an assistant before taking over as interim head coach in the winter of 2017. Following the 2011-12 season, Vachon was also promoted to Recruiting Coordinator; a role she served until being named Interim Head Coach in 2017. Vachon was inducted into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame in the spring of 2016.

Former University of Maine women’s basketball head coach Richard Barron named Vachon as an assistant coach on May 16, 2011. Vachon, a 2000 graduate of the University of Maine, had a fantastic four-year career as a student-athlete with the Black Bears.

A two-time captain, Vachon led 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 was inducted into the UMaine Sports Hall of Fame in 2018, 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 with 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.

Prior to joining the University of Maine women’s basketball staff, Vachon was the head coach at Catherine McAuley High School, located in Portland, Maine. Vachon coached McAuley to the 2011 Maine Class A State Championship.

Vachon, a 2021 Maine Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, knows the demands of a Division I student-athletes, as she also excelled in the classroom. She graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2000 with a degree in elementary education. In 2002, she earned her Master’s of Education from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in school counseling. While an undergraduate, she was named: All-Maine Women Honor Society, Dean’s List, America East All-Conference Academic Honor Roll, Maine Scholar-Athlete Award winner and also served on the Student-Athlete Advisory Board.

Coaching History
Head Coach
Year School Conf. Overall

2016-17 UMaine 9-6 11-7 (America East Title Game)
2017-18 UMaine 13-3 23-10 (NCAA Tournament, America East Championship, America East Coach of the Year)
2018-19 UMaine 15-1 25-8 (NCAA Tournament, America East Championship, America East Coach of the Year)
2019-20 UMaine 12-4 18-14 (America East Title Game - canceled due to COVID-19)
2020-21 UMaine 13-2 17-3 (America East Title Game)
2021-22 UMaine 15-3 20-12 (America East Regular Season Title, America East Title Game)
2022-23 UMaine 11-5 16-14 (America East semifinal appearance)
2023-24 UMaine 14-2 24-10 (NCAA Tournament, America East Championship, America East Coach of the Year)

Eight seasons 102-26 154-78 3 NCAA Tournament Appearance, Three America East titles, 5x Coach of the Year

Amy Vachon - Women's Basketball Coach (2024)


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