BALTIMORE – UMBC Women's Basketball Head Coach Phil Stern has signed a two-year contract extension that will keep him with the Retrievers through the 2018-19 season, as announced today by Director of Athletics Tim Hall.
"Phil has proven to be successful in the very competitive America East Conference," said Hall. "He has a high basketball acumen, is a tireless recruiter and has the best interest of his student-athletes at the core. We look forward to higher levels of success with women's basketball, going forward."
"I'm so excited about the future of our program," said Stern. "With the new arena right around the corner, and the great leadership from Tim Hall, I look forward to sustained excellence both on and off the court. I would like to thank President Hrabowski and Dr. Young for their continued support for our program and UMBC Athletics."
Since taking over the Retrievers' program prior to the 2002-03 season, Stern has brought UMBC to three conference tournament championship games and has helped players to 17 All-Conference honors and a pair of Rookie of the Year distinctions.
In 2007, UMBC's America East Tournament Championship team made its way into the record books, becoming the first team in the league's history to defeat the top three teams in the America East standings en route to winning the conference championship and earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The Oceanside, N.Y., native went on to be named the 2011 America East Coach of the Year after guiding the Retrievers to their most successful season ever at the Division I level and a berth in the Women's National Invitational Tournament. UMBC, which was picked to finish fifth in the America East preseason poll, finished the campaign with its first-ever America East regular-season title and a berth in the WNIT. The Retrievers went 20-12, matching the school record for wins – the most in the program's 25-year Division I era – and its 13-3 mark in league play was its best in the first eight seasons in the conference.
During the 2014-15 campaign, Stern recorded his 150th win with the Retrievers and his 250th career victory, while also becoming the program's all-time wins leader (156) in his 13th season at the helm. He surpassed a mark that Sue Furnary captured while coaching the black and gold from 1980-1993 and posting a 152-193 record. The Retrievers returned to the America East Championships semifinals for the first time since 2012, and the fourth time overall, with a 49-47 victory against third-seeded Stony Brook in this year's quarterfinals.
UMBC will return a majority of its roster for the 2015-16 campaign, including a pair of America East All-Conference guards in rising senior Capree Garner (Silver Spring, Md./Springbrook) and rising junior Taylor McCarley (Bowie, Md./Academy of Holy Cross).
Stern's teams have not just found success on the court, but also in the classroom and in the community. The Retrievers have posted a pair of WBCA Academic Top 25 teams (2009-10, 2010-11) during Stern's tenure, including the third-highest grade point average (3.578) in the nation among NCAA Division I women's basketball teams during the 2009-10 academic year.
In the community, Stern's program is one of the most active in the entire athletic department. In addition to making school visits, hosting clinics and mentoring at local elementary and middle schools, the women's basketball team added outreach events with the FOJ Foundation, the Department of Juvenile Services, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and My Sister's Place Women's Center during the 2014-15 academic year.