Fresh off one of the most stunning postseason runs in conference history, Head Coach Felisha Legette-Jack and UB Women's Basketball are poised for a continued stretch of stability in Amherst today, after the school announced that Legette-Jack has signed a five-year contract extension that should keep her in Alumni Arena through 2020-2021.
The extension comes on the heels of a similar deal for Men's Basketball coach Nate Oats, who also won the MAC with his program in 2015-16.
The fourth-year coach is currently presiding over one of the most successful stretches in program history, as her teams have posted winning records in each of the last three seasons, and this year completed a four-game postseason run from the bottom half of the conference (featuring upsets of #1 seed Ohio, Akron, and Central Michigan) to win the MAC Championship and advance to the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament despite beginning the season with one of the youngest rosters in the country.
UB had previously under Legette-Jack advanced to its second-ever postseason appearance in 2014-15, when they lost in the MAC Semifinal to Ohio but earned a berth in the Women's NIT, where they fell to West Virginia.
That young roster, though, returns almost entirely for 2016-17, as only senior Karin Moss graduates, while UB returns All-MAC guard Joanna Smith (18.3 ppg), Stephanie Reid (10.3 ppg), and Cassie Oursler (8.0 ppg). However, freshman center Mirte Scheper has already announced her departure from the program, and there are rumours that other players will also leave for other opportunities.
Legette-Jack's tenure, in addition to steady improvement and wins, has also been marked by this player turnover, as Rachael Gregory and Alexus Malone, who both figured to be upperclass leaders for the 2015-16 season, both left the program last spring. This season Kandance Satterwhite left the program before ever seeing the court. For better or worse, Legette-Jack's coaching style seems to demand a certain temperament from her players. For now, it's produced wins and strong postseason play, and impressed both fans and her bosses.
This season, Coach Jack is set to bring in local standout Summer Hemphill and Tessy Onwuka to bolster her team's championship defense, while UMass transfer Cierra Dillard will join the program but sit out the season before becoming eligible in 2017-18.