On Thursday, Binghamton University director of athletics Patrick Elliott announced the extension of head women’s basketball coach Bethann Shapiro Ord’s contract through the 2025-26 season.

“It’s great that I get some added time to keep building what we started,” Shapiro Ord said. “It’s because they care about women’s basketball [at BU] and it’s awesome … I’m very honored they put me in this position to continue this journey.”

Shapiro Ord joined the Bearcats in 2018 following a seven-season run as head coach at Weber State. She chose to continue her coaching career with Binghamton thanks in part to the support of Elliott and BU President Harvey Stenger.

In her first year as head coach, Shapiro Ord finished the season with a 12-18 overall record. The following year, however, she helped the team improve to a 22-9 overall record and led the Bearcats to a spot in the America East (AE) semifinals.

“We had some good pieces, we just had to make some adjustments,” Shapiro Ord said. “I have an amazing staff and you put yourself in the best position because you’re surrounded by great people … And the players that we have are tremendous young ladies on and off the court.”

During Binghamton’s 2020-21 season, the team struggled to find good form in its opening matchups. However, the Bearcats began to build momentum heading into the latter half of the season before they pulled out of competition due to COVID-19 safety protocols.

“The way [the players] handled this past year with COVID-19, they never complained, they just came to work,” Shapiro Ord said. “They just kept rolling … I’m excited to see how they keep getting better together.”

One of the biggest names under Shapiro Ord was former AE Player of the Year guard Kai Moon, ‘20, who graduated alongside two other Bearcats in the starting five. Moon spearheaded the Binghamton team that climbed its way to the AE semifinals in 2020. Despite that achievement, Shapiro Ord said that her favorite moments as a coach are receiving phone calls from former alumni.

“Some of my favorite moments are getting that phone call from every player who has graduated from here,” Shapiro Ord said. “All of them either have a job or are in graduate school. Getting the phone call from [Moon] when she got a job with a huge startup company in the business world … those are some of my favorite moments.”

Last year, the women’s basketball team was not permitted to practice during the summer, but the Bearcats will be able to train during the off-season in preparation for next year’s play.

“This past year, we didn’t have a [offseason],” Shapiro Ord said. “We didn’t have workouts in the summer, so I’m excited to see how we keep developing … I’m very excited about this group.”