Bethune-Cookman University Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Lynn W. Thompson announced Thursday evening (August 24, 2017) that Women’s Head Basketball Coach Vanessa Blair-Lewis has been rewarded a contract extension after leading the Wildcats to consecutive Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) regular season championships.
Blair-Lewis’ new deal runs through 2021, guaranteeing that she will remain in Daytona Beach at the helm of the Wildcats women’s hoops program the next five years.
“Not only did Vanessa Blair-Lewis lead her team to consecutive record-setting seasons and post season appearances, but through her leadership, teaching and development of student-athletes, she has established a highly successful program that transforms lives and builds champions,” Thompson said. “I know that she clearly understands her role and how valuable it is in the overall student-athlete experience here at Bethune-Cookman University. She is much more than a coach. She is a mother and wife, and through her life our students see the dynamics of a solid family unit and how effective it can be as a positive influence.”
In her ninth season at the helm of the Wildcats women’s program, Blair-Lewis led the Maroon and Gold to a 21-11 overall record – the program’s highest win total since the 1984-85 team went 21-5 and picking up a program-best 15-1 mark in league play. The Cats advanced to the MEAC Tournament championship game for the first time since 1992 and made a second consecutive WNIT appearance. She was named the BoxToRow National Co-Coach of the Year and was a finalist for 2017 HBCU Awards Female Coach of the Year presented by HBCU Digest.
“I am honored and humbled to be given this extension from President Grimes to continue serving this University in the capacity of its women’s basketball coach,” Blair-Lewis said. “It has been an absolute blessing to work under the leadership of our Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics, Mr. Lynn W. Thompson. He is an exceptional leader with a strong moral compass. The program has taken tremendous strides, and we look forward to even greater success in the years to come.”