Kate Achter inks extension to remain with Titans into 2029

Ever since taking over the head coach position exactly two years ago, Kate Achter’s journey with the University of Detroit Mercy women’s basketball team has been one of growth, belief and commitment – and it is set to continue. Last month, UDM Director of Athletics Robert C. Vowels Jr. announced that Achter agreed to extend her contract and serve as women’s basketball head coach through the 2028-2029 season. 

Vowels spoke highly of Achter, who managed to drag the Titans from a near winless record in 2021-2022, to posting double digit wins and securing a playoff spot in just two years.  

“I commend her for rebuilding the culture, identifying student-athletes who are solid academically, finding players who compete, [and giving] great effort and have impeccable character,” he said in a press release. “Coach Achter has done a remarkable job of building a program in two years and the future is extremely bright.” 

For Achter, this contract by its expiration date will become her longest stint in any position throughout her professional career – and it signifies more than just an agreement on paper; it is a deepening of bonds. 

“My family and I are just thrilled about the commitment that UDM and the entire athletic department has made to not only us, but to women’s basketball as well,” she said. “I love being a Titan and I am so appreciative of this extension.” 

Achter also took a moment to address her players and what it has been like getting to know them, on both a more personal and professional level. 

“Getting to know all of our women on a personal level has been wonderful and they have been exactly the representatives we want for our university,” she said. 

All the while she celebrates this extension, Achter does not rule out a move into the bigger leagues one day, but she is fully focused on what is at hand right here, right now.  

“When you think about the WNBA or the NBA, you’re talking about the best in the whole world,” Achter said. “Right now, I know I have a lot of professional growth to be had here, and perhaps one day I will think more seriously about that move, but I want to be the absolute best I can be at this level first. The competitor in me is always thinking about being the best though, and that means being the best here, first.”  

As for the program itself, the goal, according to Achter, is “to reach sustainable success.” She admitted that it “takes time,” and that she will sit down with her “staff in the summer and re-evaluate the vision [of the program] and adjust accordingly to make sure we account for our current growth.” In that same sitting, she eyes the big prize.  

“I will map out more of a sustainable long-term vision and how we can all get to winning championships,” Achter said. 

Nothing is necessarily out of reach for Achter, but she does not want to rush the path towards prevalence in the league.  

“I think it’s all attainable,” she said about a Horizon League title in the next five years. “The tricky part is not skipping steps in the process.”  

She reaffirmed that the program is “interested in long term and repeatable success,” something which in her eyes is possible best through mutual investment from the players into the university and vice-versa. 

 “It certainly helps that our university has shown how committed they are to investing in women’s basketball,” Achter said. 

With Achter now at the helm for years to come, the future of women’s basketball at UDM looks bright, fueled by passion, belief and a relentless pursuit of success. In her own words, “the goal is to win, and we will get there.”