Adia Barnes is an up-and-coming star coach and Arizona is an up-and-coming national power. Barnes led the Wildcats to the NCAA Tournament championship game as a 3-seed this past season and they upset No. 1 seed UConn along the way. Although they came up short of a national championship, losing to Stanford, they were the most exciting story in women’s college basketball.
Because she led Arizona to all that success and has brought so much positive energy to Tucson, Barnes was rewarded last Tuesday with a pay increase up to $5.85 million in base salary over the next five years.
Barnes was in consideration for the Baylor job after Kim Mulkey left for LSU and understandably so. Her leadership and charisma were on full display during the NCAA Tournament as she even gave a middle finger to Arizona’s critics in a private team huddle. She is 44 years old and has all the momentum in the world as a coach. She became the youngest one to make the Final Four since 2014.
Arizona was able to offer Barnes more money to keep her in Tucson and Baylor has hired former Atlanta Dream coach Nicki Collen. This is good news for Wildcats fans as they will get to see Barnes, a former Arizona player, continue to coach at her alma mater and potentially lead the program to even greater things in the aftermath of such a thrilling run.