Head coach Caroline McCombs during a Stony Brook Women’s basketball practice this season. Her contract was recently extended through the 2024-2025 season. SARA RUBERG/THE STATESMAN

Women’s Basketball head coach, Caroline McCombs, is here to stay.

The 6th-year head coach’s contract was extended through the 2024-25 season, Athletic Director, Shawn Heilbron, announced in a press release Monday. 

“Caroline has led our women’s basketball program to historic heights,” Heilbron said in the press release. “I’m beyond excited to continue building together. Over her six seasons at Stony Brook, she has worked tirelessly to elevate our Women’s Basketball program on a national level. I believe that our greatest days as a program are in front of us.”

McCombs is fresh off the most prolific season in Stony Brook women’s basketball history, achieving a 22-game win streak and giving the squad an America East regular season title. Stony Brook also garnered their first votes in the AP Top 25 poll ever, a crucial step for an emerging program.

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With the help of graduate guard Kaela Hilaire and junior forward India Pagan, the team advanced to the America East finals against the Maine Black Bears. However, the game was canceled due to fears regarding the coronavirus, which has since turned into a worldwide pandemic. The Seawolves were awarded the title because they earned the best conference record in the America East.

This is the second time McCombs’ contract has been extended since being hired in 2014. The new contract adds three more years from her last extension. 

“I am so grateful for my time at Stony Brook University,” McCombs said in the press release. “The opportunity to continue working with our student-athletes, assistant coaches and support staff is a journey that I embrace. We will continue to transform the lives of our young women. I am thankful for Shawn Heilbron and how our program and I have flourished under his leadership over the past six years.”

McCombs has accumulated an overall record of 115-70 since arriving at Stony Brook and is currently the program’s winningest coach in the Division I era. Stony Brook achieved its first two Power 5 wins ever under McCombs against Penn State on Nov. 25, 2018, and Pittsburgh on Dec. 8, 2019. She also has coached players that have earned 25 all-conference honors in her time at the school.

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The contract does not ensure that McCombs will not leave for another program, but it does signal a commitment from Stony Brook to McCombs over the long term.

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