Amy Vachon was the first assistant coach Richard Barron hired when he took over the University of Maine women’s basketball program. Monday she received a significant promotion.

Vachon, who graduated from UMaine in 2000 after a standout career at Cony High in Augusta, was named Maine’s associate head coach.

“I think it’s a title that reflects how important she is to our program and the contributions she makes,” said Barron. “She’s been incredibly valuable to me. There’s no question that we wouldn’t have had the success we’ve had without her. She cares deeply about the program and the university. And she can relate to the players about the challenges of coming to Maine and the challenges of playing here.”

Vachon replaces Todd Steelman, who left the Black Bears to take the head coaching job at Presbyterian College.

“This is a great honor,” said Vachon, who was inducted into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame on Sunday. “It’s nice to know that, in any position, your hard work is acknowledged and appreciated.”

Vachon will retain her duties as recruiting coordinator for the Black Bears, as well as focusing on developing UMaine’s guards. She holds the school record for most assists in a season (234) and school and America East records for most assists in a career (759). Barron did not anticipate added any more responsibilities.

“She already does so much for us,” he said. “And she’s really been the one who has kept us organized and on time and on track with everyone. She is as invaluable as anyone I’ve ever had on a staff.

“I can’t think of anyone I’d rather have at my side than Amy.”

Vachon, who won a Class A state championship at McAuley in her only year as a high school head coach (2011), said she’ll do whatever is necessary to help the staff.

“We have a great team and we all do our part,” she said. “Whatever is needed, we step up and do it.

“If there’s more I need to do, I’ll step up and do it.”

Her promotion, she said, won’t change how she approaches her job.

“The title is not going to change my work ethic or what I want to do or what I can do,” she said. “I love what I do, I love the kids, I love the people I work with.

“The change of title won’t change that. I’m honored by it, and humbled.”

UMaine also announced that Edniesha Curry has been promoted to second assistant with a focus on individual player development.

 


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