June 29, 2017--Director of Athletics Lynne Robinson announced today that Mount St. Mary's University has signed men's basketball coach Jamion Christian to a multi-year contract extension. Christian, who has led the Mount to the NCAA Tournament twice in five years as head coach, is now signed through the 2026-27 season.
"Since Jamion's return to the Mount five years ago, the men's basketball program has flourished. In addition to leading the team to outstanding success on the court, Jamion has maintained a tireless commitment to the welfare and academic success of our student-athletes, as well as serving as a tremendous ambassador for Mount St. Mary's in the community and with our alumni," said Robinson.
"I love the Mount. I love what we are becoming as a university. I love what we are becoming as a basketball program. We've had some success here over the past five seasons, and to take the next step we all needed to define our commitment," Christian said. "I want to be here for a long time because I believe that we can be as elite a program as there is in this country. I believe with our university support, our fan support, and with the rich recruiting base we live within, that our future is limitless."
Christian changed the team's style of play when he arrived in 2012. Known as Mount Mayhem, it features a pressing defense and an offense reliant on three-point shots. The combination has led the Mount to appearances in the NCAA Tournament in 2014 and 2017, the Mount's first NCAA Tournament win since 2008, Northeast Conference (NEC) Championships in 2014 and 2017, and the honor of being the only NEC team with a winning regular season record for five straight years. In April, Christian was named 2016-17 Jim Phelan NEC Coach of the Year after leading the Mountaineers to both the NEC regular season and tournament titles. It was the first time since 1995-96 that the Mount has captured NEC regular season honors.
Off the court, Christian excels in mentoring his student-athletes, as he leads by example in the way he prepares as well as embraces the Mount community.
"Coach Christian has been an outstanding role model for our student-athletes at the Mount." said Mount St. Mary's University President Timothy Trainor, Ph.D. "He pours his heart and soul into developing our student-athletes to become ethical leaders ready to serve others in the future. The public sees his energy and enthusiasm when he's coaching during a game, but they don't see that he puts just as much, if not more effort into his responsibilities with his team, administrators, the media and the Mount community at large. We're certainly delighted about what he's been able to accomplish, but even more proud of how he's been able to positively impact our students and represent the university."
Christian's additional career accomplishments include:
- Ben Jobe Award winner (2016-17), finalist (2012-13) - (Top minority coach in men's Division I basketball presented by CollegeInsider.com).
- Joe B. Hall Award finalist (2012-13) - (Top first-year coach in men's Division I basketball presented by CollegeInsider.com).
- One NCAA Tournament win (2016-17).
- Two NCAA Tournament appearances (2013-14, 2016-17).
- Two NEC Championships (2013-14, 2016-17).
- Three NEC Championship game appearances (2012-13, 2013-14, 2016-17).
- Five NEC Tournament appearances (2012-13 season – 2016-17 season).
- 64-36 NEC record, including 9-3 in the NEC Tournament.
- Only NEC team to have a winning regular season record in each of the last five years.
- Three-year captain as a player under legendary Mount St. Mary's coach Jim Phelan.
Jamion Christian on Contract Extension
"The passion I feel for our program I believe has been evident from the first day that I set foot on this campus. I love the Mount. I love what we are becoming as a university. I love what we are becoming as a basketball program. We've had some success here over the past five seasons, and to take the next step we all needed to define our commitment. I wanted to be committed here for a long time because I believe that we can be as elite a program as there is in this country. I believe with our university support, our fan support, and with the rich recruiting base we live within, that our future is limitless. Being limitless was particularly important to me and having that same vision by those at the university level was extremely important. The ability to be limitless in our dreams and our wants. Mixed with an extreme desire to work for that dream is a dangerous combination. We have that here at the Mount. Those that are in our locker room exhibit that every day. Those who came before worked to create a better today for all of us, and we are so appreciative of our history which shows that we can continue to be great. Being resilient in the tracking of these goals has become a staple of our program. I am proud of that.
Mount St. Mary's University is a private, liberal arts, Catholic university in the Catoctin Mountains near historic Emmitsburg, Maryland, with a satellite campus in Frederick, Maryland's second largest city. The university offers more than 40 majors, minors, concentrations and special programs for traditional undergraduate students, and 17 adult undergraduate and graduate level programs.