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UMBC SIGNS HEAD WOMEN’S BASKETBALL COACH PHIL STERN THROUGH 2009-10 SEASON
Head coach Phil Stern signed a new four-year contract keeping him at the helm of UMBC through the 2009-10 season.
“I am thankful for the support provided to me and the women’s basketball program by President [Freeman] Hrabowski, Provost [Art] Johnson, Dr. Brown and the UMBC community over the last four years,” Stern said. “I look forward to continued growth on and off the court as we climb the ladder in the America East Conference.”
Stern, a native of Oceanside, N.Y., brought immediate success to the UMBC women’s basketball program upon his arrival in 2002, taking the Retrievers to the Northeast Conference title game and falling just one win short of UMBC’s first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance his first season.
The following year Stern led UMBC into the Mid-Major America East Conference and has continually enhanced the Retriever program to adjust to the stronger league. Over the last two seasons, Stern has recorded the Retrievers’ two best starts in UMBC’s 19-year Division-I history, including beginning an all-time best 6-1 this past year.
Stern turned that early success in 2005-06 into one of the most productive years in UMBC women’s basketball history, leading the Retrievers to a 15-13 record in the 11th-ranked Division-I conference according to The Collegiate Basketball News Women’s RPI Report. In addition, the America East Conference ranked third among all Division I-AA and I-AAA conferences.
Additionally, Stern’s 15 wins were the most victories in a season since UMBC won 15 regular season games during the 1993-94 campaign and tied for the second-most wins in a season during UMBC’s Division-I history. His team set UMBC single-season records for three-point field goal percentage and assists in a season while ranking in the top-five all-time in seven other categories, including wins, scoring defense and field goal percentage. Since his arrival, Stern’s squads have become some of the top shooting teams in UMBC history, while three of his four teams have held opponents to under 60.0 points per game.
“We are very excited about the direction that the women’s basketball program is taking,” Dr. Brown said. “We have proved to be very competitive in the strong America East Conference while continuing to be an exceptional academic team as well. Coach Stern has shown strong leadership and is developing an all-around outstanding basketball program on the court, in the classroom and in the community.”
Maybe even more impressive than his coaching success is his team’s dedication to the classroom and the community. Over the past four years during Stern’s tenure, the Retriever women’s basketball team has been one of the athletic department’s leaders in the classroom, recording above a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) each year, including the highest GPA out of all sports with a 3.25 this past fall. During the fall, 11 of 14 players recorded over a 3.0 GPA with three athletes earning a perfect 4.0.
In the community, Stern’s program is one of the most active in the entire athletic department. In addition to making school visits and speeches, hosting clinics and mentoring at area elementary and middle schools, the women’s basketball team, along with the community outreach program, welcomed nearly 800 elementary and middle school students to UMBC to tour campus and watch the Retrievers play. Furthermore, four student-athletes spent their spring break with Habitat for Humanity, helping gut houses in the
Stern is a graduate from