The architect of the greatest seasons in UMW women’s basketball history in 13 years at the helm, Deena Applebury has brought UMW women’s basketball to the forefront in NCAA Division III basketball circles and earned one of the highest career winning percentage in NCAA history, ranking 11th all-time in all divisions in win percentage.
In 2004-05, she led the Eagles to a 23-7 overall record, an improvement of 11 wins and six losses from her first season, in 2003-04. Applebury also led the Eagles to their first-ever Capital Athletic Conference championship, and to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, that year. For her impressive breakout season, Applebury was named by her peers as the CAC Coach of the Year.
2005-06 saw the Eagles climb to even greater heights, winning their first 27 games en route to the NCAA Sweet 16. Applebury was named CAC Coach of the Year, and was consensus Atlantic Region Coach of the Year as well. 2006-07 raised the bar once again, as Applebury was named the WBCA National Coach of the Year. The Eagles won 31 games, tied for the most in the nation, and advanced to the NCAA Division III Final Four.
In 2008, the Eagles were ranked #1 in the nation en route to a 28-3 record and Sweet 16 appearance. In 2009, using almost a completely new lineup, she led UMW to a 23-6 record and third straight CAC title and fifth straight NCAA Tournament appearance. The 2010 season saw equally impressive results, as UMW tied for the CAC regular season championship and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
The 2011-12 season proved historic as Applebury led the Eagles to 30 straight wins en route to its second-ever Elite Eight appearance and a 30-1 record. The Eagles won the CAC regular season and Tournament championships, and Applebury was named Coach of the Year by the CAC, VaSID and The Richmond Times-Dispatch for the state of Virginia, and as region coach of the year by D3Hoops.com and the WBCA.
The Eagles returned to the CAC Championship in 2014-15 for Applebury's 10th 20-win campaign, and the Eagles advanced again in 2015-16, winning the CAC Championship with a 24-5 record and advancing to the NCAA Tournament with just one senior on the roster.
Applebury’s career record at UMW of 300-74 (.803 winning pct.) is punctuated by a 265-52 mark over the past 10 seasons (.836 win pct.).
Applebury is a graduate of Versailles High School in Versailles, Mo., and gained her Masters in Secondary Education with an emphasis in Physical Education from UM-St. Louis in January of 2003. She received her Bachelors of Science in Education from UM-St. Louis in 1999 and graduated cum laude. She was also a member of the Riverwomen women’s basketball team for two years. As a player, Applebury averaged 19.8 points, 3.9 rebounds per game and posted the fourth best single season output in school history with 534 points her senior year.
Applebury, her husband Johnny, and son Zack live in Spotsylvania.