Following a masterful season in which Adia Barnes led Arizona Women’s Basketball to new heights, the head coach has received a major raise.
It has been five years since Wildcat legend Adia Barnes took over the Arizona Women’s Basketball program. A then young, rising assistant in college basketball, she inherited a team that was virtually on life support.
Under previous head coach Niya Butts, the Wildcats were a combined 102-147, with losing records in each of the previous five seasons where Arizona finished either 11th or worse in the Conference, it was clear the program needed new life. Well, then walks in former Wildcat standout Barnes.
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In her first season, she guided the Wildcats to a respectable 14-16 (5-13) record with a 9th place finish in the Pac-12, their highest since 2010-11 when Arizona finished 4th in the conference.
However, in year two, she and the program took a major step backward, finishing a miserable 6-24 (2-16) and 11th in the Pac-12.
Then the Wildcats turned a corner! Now utilizing an eligible Aari McDonald, a transfer from Washington, McDonald, Barnes, and Co. would ignite Arizona Women’s Basketball, delivering one of the best stretches for the Wildcats in program history.
In three years, Arizona has gone a combined 69-26 (32-21) with a WNIT Championship, an NCAA Tournament appearance (should have been two… thanks, Covid), an NCAA Final Four, and a second-place NCAA Tournament finish.
Since her hiring, the accolades have been rolling in for Barnes, and the Wildcats are making themselves known to be a rising program in Women’s College Basketball.
Naturally, with her meteoric rise to College Basketball stardom, her success would have other opportunistic programs potentially longing for the chance to lure her away.
So just as any smart program and athletic department would do, you pay the coaches accordingly based on the on-court success. And after the five-year run Barnes has had in Tucson, none are more deserving than her.
On Tuesday afternoon, it was announced that Adia will receive a substantial bump in her pay, this on the heels of signing an extension too! Her new contract? Five years, $5.85 million!
Looks like Adia is here to stay awhile, and that’s good for us because big things are brewing in Tucson!