FACES of Nashville: Melanie Balcomb

Melanie Balcomb, Vanderbilt’s Head Women’s Basketball Coach is pretty amazing. Not only has she led this team to the NCAA tournament each of the 10 years that she has been head coach (which Vanderbilt has played in for the past consecutive 13 years), but she does so by inspiring each player to be her best, both on and off the court. When not coaching, you might find Melanie at home planning a redesign for her house and unplugging from it all listening to music. We are honored to have Melanie as our FACE of Nashville today.

Where did you grow up and what brought you to Nashville?

I grew up in Cranbury, NJ. Getting the head coaching job at Vanderbilt brought me to Nashville.

How do you see women’s college basketball having changed in the past 20 years?

More money, more interest, more athletic athletes.

Youth basketball is intense for 10 year old girls at this day and age. Is this a new phenomenon for girls’ basketball or has it always been this intense at an early age?

This has changed in the last “10” years.

When, in your opinion, should kids start to specialize in one sport?

I believe they should specialize in college, as being trained in more than one sport will prevent injuries and burnout.

The women you recruit seem to have such confidence not only in their sport, but in who they are. We are constantly amazed by what strong role models they are here in town for a large group of young girls. Do you see Vanderbilt players being leaders not only on the court but off?

Yes. My hope is that we can make a difference in their lives outside of basketball.

Where is your favorite place to eat dinner in Nashville?

City House

What books can be found on your bedside table or Kindle?

Lead for God’s Sake and Mick (Jagger’s autobiography).

Is there a must-not-miss event on the calendar for this fall here in Nashville?


What is the last movie you saw at the theater?

Hope Springs

Do you have any fears?

Bugs! I hate bugs!!

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?

“Pick your battles” and “Don’t chase the money; let the money chase you!”

If there is one place on this earth that you would suggest everyone visit if they could, where would that be?

My church – Edgehill Methodist

Name three things you can’t live without (Besides God, Family and Friends!)

The Sun, looking forward to vacations, and just having fun (laughing).

Thanks Melanie! And, for all of our Nashville readers, the Women’s Basketball games are so fun to watch in person. With a home court record of 130-24 under Coach Balcomb, consider watching court side and cheering them to an almost predictable win! For schedule information, click on this website: www.vucommodores.com.

For a great in-depth article on Coach Balcomb, please see: grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/vand/sports/