[Photo: Bill Rapai]
Michigan signed the best basketball coach in program history to an extension.
No, this isn't a repost. Kim Barnes Arico will patrol the sidelines at Crisler at least through 2022-23, U-M announced today:
University of Michigan Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics Warde Manuel announced on Thursday (July 12) a contract extension for women's basketball head coach Kim Barnes Arico through the 2022-23 season.
"Kim has worked tirelessly to grow our basketball program here at Michigan," Manuel said. "Already our all-time winningest coach, she is a tremendous evaluator of talent and educator for our student-athletes. She sets a wonderful example for our program and I look forward to her continued leadership and success."
"I want to thank Warde Manuel and the University of Michigan for their continued support of me and the women's basketball program," Barnes Arico said. "The resources and commitment to our team have been unbelievable, which have had a major impact on recruiting and our success on the court. We have some signed some of the best classes nationally these past few seasons and have been able to raise the profile of the program. I am also thankful to the Ann Arbor community for embracing 'The Hardest Working Team in America' and making an impact on our team. I am excited for what the future holds for Michigan women's basketball."
Since taking over for Kevin Borseth in 2012-13, the 2017 Big Ten Coach of the Year has led the program to two NCAA tournament appearances, making the second round both times (including last season), and a WNIT championship. Only Sue Guevera, who coached from 1996-2003, is responsible for more NCAA tourney berths in program history; in one fewer season at the helm, KBA has already surpassed Guevera's win total while posting better overall and Big Ten win percentages. Her six consecutive postseason appearances are also a school record.
It may not take long at all for Barnes Arico to catch Guevera in tourney appearances. While Michigan loses some key pieces from last year's tourney team, most notably all-time leading scorer Katelynn Flaherty, KBA brought in a four-woman recruiting class that includes three top-100 prospects, headlined by five-star Indiana Miss Basketball winner Amy Dilk.
With Hallie Thome, Nicole Munger, Hailey Brown, and Deja Church bringing back production and experience from last year's 23-win squad, it could be a big season for the Wolverines. KBA's extension couldn't come at a better time.