Balcomb Named Women's Basketball Coach 5/28/02

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Melanie Balcomb, Xavier’s head coach the past seven years, today was named head women's basketball coach at Vanderbilt.

Balcomb was the winningest women's basketball coach in Xavier history. Her finest year was in 2000-01 when the Musketeers went 31-3 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament's Elite Eight, defeating Tennessee in the Sweet 16.

Her announcement caps one of the most thorough national coaching searches ever at Vanderbilt.

"Our objective has been to find the best possible coach our women's basketball program," Director of Athletics Todd Turner said. "We researched dozens of potential candidates and talked to a number of them as we looked for an ideal match. We think we have found just that person in Melanie Balcomb. She is highly respected by her peers. We were attracted to her because she has not only been successful but she has been dedicated to winning the right way."

"This is an ideal fit for me,” Balcomb says. “I am excited to be coaching at a University that has high standards and high aspirations. Basketball is important to Vanderbilt and its commitment is obvious. We will work very hard to continue this program’s tradition of successfully competing at the highest level and doing so with integrity.”

Balcomb compiled a record of 135-78 at Xavier while winning one Atlantic 10 Conference regular season title and making three NCAA Tournament appearances. Her teams also won two Atlantic 10 Conference tournament championships and made one appearance in the WNIT.

After the 2001 season, Balcomb was named "Coach of the Year" in the Atlantic 10 Conference.

She was a finalist for the National Coach of the Year by the Associated Press, the Naismith Foundation and ESPN The Magazine. The Columbus Dispatch named her the Ohio College Coach of the Year in 2001 while she was also the Greater Cincinnati Women’s Sports Federation Coach of the Year. She is also a member of the Greater Cincinnati Basketball Hall of Fame and the Hightstown, NJ High School Hall of Fame.

Balcomb was Xavier’s head coach when the team moved to the new Cintas Center, which was ironically dedicated with a victory over Vanderbilt at the beginning of the 2000-01 season.

In the last three years, Xavier has a 5-1 record versus the Southeastern Conference with victories over Vanderbilt, Kentucky (twice), Mississippi State and Tennessee. Vanderbilt also registered the lone victory, which came in Nashville last season.

Balcomb was previously the head coach coach at Ashland (Ohio) University for two years, compiling a record of 28-26. She was at Providence for three years as an assistant before going to Ashland. The Friars were 62-30 and made two NCAA Tournament appearances.

In 1989-90, Balcomb was an assistant at Ohio University and she began her career as an assistant at Niagara University.

She was a three-year letterwinner at Trenton State, now the College of New Jersey, graduating in a bachelor’s degree in1984 and earning a Master’s in 1985.


Vanderbilt Athletic Department
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615-322-GOLD (4653)