Balcomb Named Women's Basketball Coach
Melanie Balcomb, Xavier’s head coach the past
seven years, today was named head women's basketball coach
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.
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
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
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
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.