Thibault-DuDonis Signs Three-Year Contract Extension as Fairfield Women’s Basketball Head Coach

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Fairfield University Women's Basketball Head Coach Carly Thibault-DuDonis has signed a contract extension through the 2029-30 season. Coach Carly has been at the helm of the most historic season in the history of the Fairfield Women's Basketball program which includes the 2024 MAAC Championship, the team's first-ever AP Top 25 ranking, and a trip to the NCAA Tournament, where the Stags will tip-off against Indiana on Saturday.
"Fairfield has become our home, and the people here have become our family," said Thibault-DuDonis. "This place is incredibly special, starting with the passionate, caring, and driven people that come together to strive for excellence. This can be and is becoming one of the elite women's basketball schools in the country, and we've been able to prove that to be true in the last few years. I'm grateful to Dr. Nemec, Paul Schlickmann, and our entire administration for believing in me, supporting our staff and student-athletes every step of the way, and for entrusting me with this program going forward. This season has been exciting and record breaking in so many ways, and while we aren't done yet, we are thrilled about what lies ahead for Fairfield Women's Basketball.  This is only the beginning, I'm here to stay!"

Fairfield's success has been highlighted by a 31-1 overall record and the second-highest winning percentage in the nation at .969. The Stags have also enjoyed a 29-game winning streak, which is the longest in program and MAAC history.
"We are elated to announce this extension for Coach Carly on the heels of an historic season of unprecedented success for Fairfield Women's Basketball," said Vice President for Athletics Paul Schlickmann. "In just two short years, Coach Carly and her staff have done an exceptional job of elevating our program to one of national prominence.  She is an elite coach, an inspirational leader and a passionate mentor of young women. Coach Carly is a highly effective relationship and community builder who has become an invaluable member of our Stags family. We share the vision and values necessary to build a model Division I Women's Basketball program and I look forward to the journey ahead with Carly and her team."

In her second season at the helm, Coach Carly has elevated the Stags into the national conversation. Fairfield has been ranked #25 by the Associated Press in each of the last two weeks, becoming just the fourth MAAC team to be ranked nationally. Fairfield is also receiving votes in the most recent USA Today Coaches' Poll and ranks fourth in the College Insider Mid-Major Top 25 Poll.
Coach Carly has amassed a .742 career winning percentage to rank in the top-20 nationally among active Division I coaches. The Stags' success has earned her a spot among the finalists for the inaugural Kathy Delaney-Smith Mid-Major Coach of the Year award. Additionally, Coach Carly was the unanimous pick as the 2024 MAAC Coach of the Year.
In her two years at Fairfield, Coach Carly has coached six All-MAAC student-athletes with three being named to the All-MAAC First Team. She has also mentored 12 MAAC All-Academic selections
The Stags have been near the top of most of the national rankings this season, placing in the top-25 in seven different statistics. Fairfield's stifling defense has been among the nation's best as they rank fifth nationally in scoring defense (54.1) and 13th in field goal percentage defense (.356). They have held 12 opponents to under 50 points while nine foes have shot under 30 percent this year.
"We are thrilled that Carly Thibault-DuDonis has extended her commitment to lead our women's basketball program to continued new heights," said University President Mark R. Nemec, PhD. "In just two seasons as head coach, Carly has developed a level of collective performance and team culture that reflects her unique ability to achieve success against strong levels of competition, while maintaining a keen eye on the overall wellbeing and maturational development of our student-athletes. We are excited for what the future holds with Carly at the helm of our exceptional women's basketball program."
On the offensive side, the Stags employ one of the most efficient shooting teams in the country and rank in the top-15 in Division I with a .468 field goal percentage. That number would be the second-highest in program history and the 13th best total in MAAC history.
Fairfield's high-powered offense also features a program-record 281 three-pointers made, which is the fourth most in conference history. Their 8.8 long-range connections per game also puts them 17th in the nation.
The Stags have found this success by implementing seven newcomers from last year's squad who account for 71 percent of the team's scoring. Freshman Road Runner Meghan Andersen has had one of the best rookie campaigns in the country and has been recognized nationally as one of 40 players on the USBWA National Player of the Year Watch List. The winner of 11 MAAC Rookie of the Week awards, she was also the only freshman ever to be selected a Mid-Major Player of the Year Semifinalist.
Anderson was unanimously named the 2024 MAAC Rookie of the Year and broke the 43-year old program rookie scoring record with 487 points this season.
Among the returners this year, Janelle Brown – the MAAC Player of the Year and MAAC Tournament MVP – has been one of the most efficient shooters in the country. She holds a .578 field goal percentage, the highest among any guard in Division I.

Coach Carly and the Fairfield Women's Basketball program head to Bloomington, Ind. this Saturday, March 23 to tip-off against Indiana in the First Round of the NCAA Championship at 1:30 p.m. on ESPN2.

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