University of Maine women's basketball coach Amy Vachon cheers her team on during the March 2019 America East quarterfinal in Bangor against New Hampshire. Credit: Pete Warner / BDN

Amy Vachon has continued to make the University of Maine women’s basketball team a conference power. For her efforts, the Augusta native has been offered and accepted a new four-year contract.

The university and Vachon have signed a binding term sheet that paves the way for execution of a full contract. The new agreement will run from July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2025.

Vachon earns $130,000 per year and was scheduled to receive a $5,000 raise beginning July 1. Updated financial details were not available.

“The University of Maine is delighted to announce an extended commitment to Coach Vachon,” UMaine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy said. “Coach Vachon has not only produced champions on the court, but in the classroom and throughout the community. We could not be more excited for the future of our women’s basketball program under Coach Vachon’s guidance.”

Vachon, a three-time America East Coach of the Year, has served as the UMaine head coach since March 1, 2018, when she signed a four-year contract. She had been serving on an interim basis in the wake of former coach Richard Barron’s illness.

“I am thrilled coach Vachon is continuing her commitment to the University of Maine and Black Bear basketball,” said Ken Ralph, UMaine director of athletics. “She has developed a winning culture in our program and we are excited to see the team continue to evolve under her leadership. I believe it is important to invest in excellence and Coach Vachon is setting a very high standard. This is great news for all of our fans who love our women’s basketball program.”

As UMaine’s head coach, Vachon has guided the Black Bears to a 94–42 overall record, including a 62-16 mark against league competition. UMaine has made five consecutive appearances in the America East Championship game.

The program also has appeared in the NCAA Tournament twice, in 2018 and 2019, also claiming three league regular-season crowns.

“Thank you to President Joan Ferrini-Mundy and Director of Athletics Ken Ralph for their belief in me and Maine women’s basketball,” Vachon said. “Being the head coach at my alma mater is something I have and will continue to take great pride in. Our players, staff and coaches will continue to strive for excellence on the court, in the classroom, and in the community.”

UMaine has excelled off the court under Vachon, winning numerous academic accolades. After the 2019–20 season, the team earned the No. 17 ranking, its highest ranking in school history, on the WBCA Top 25 Academic Honor Roll after compiling a 3.655 cumulative grade point average.

The Black Bears posted the highest GPA among America East women’s basketball programs in 2017, 2019, and 2020 while finishing with an impressive 3.91 GPA in the fall of 2020.

Vachon joined the women’s basketball staff in the spring of 2011 as an assistant coach. The next season, she became the recruiting coordinator, then was promoted to associate head coach in May 2016.

She was named the interim head coach in January 2017. In her first full year, Vachon guided UMaine to a 23-10 record, a spot in the NCAA Tournament and an America East title.

Vachon earned her second straight America East Coach of the Year award in 2019 as the Black Bears went 25-8, claimed the league title and made an NCAA appearance.

Despite several injuries, including the loss of two established starters, UMaine again reached the conference title game, which was canceled because of the pandemic.

Pete Warner

Pete graduated from Bangor High School in 1980 and earned a B.S. in Journalism (Advertising) from the University of Maine in 1986. He grew up fishing at his family's camp on Sebago Lake but didn't take...