University of Arizona head coach Adia Barnes, who took the Wildcats to the 2021 NCAA title game, was announced on April 9, 2021, as an assistant coach for the 2021 USA Basketball Women's AmeriCup Team.
“I am incredibly honored to represent the United States and assist coach Dawn Staley and USA Basketball for the 2021 AmeriCup,” said Barnes, who in 2020-21 coached the Wildcats to a 21-6 record and was a finalist for the 2021 WBCA Coach of the Year honors. “This has been a basketball dream of mine and I can’t wait to represent my country. The opportunity to work alongside coach Staley and coach Rizzotti and the most talented basketball players in the world is an honor. I cannot wait to get in the gym with these athletes and represent USA Basketball with pride.”
The fastest coach in Arizona history to notch 75 victories, Barnes launched her head coaching career at Arizona in 2016-17 and quickly made an impact. Arizona’s all-time leading scorer as a player, Barnes took over a program without a winning record in five years (since 2010-11) and in her third season posted a 24-13 record and captured the WNIT championship. She had her team poised to advance to the 2020 NCAA Tournament, but the tournament was cancelled due to COVID-19.
In five seasons directing Arizona, Barnes owns a, 89-66 slate, which improves to 69-26 (.726 winning percentage) when factoring in just the past three seasons.
Barnes began her coaching career as an assistant coach for the University of Washington, where in five seasons (2011-12 through 2015-16), she helped the Huskies to a 110-61 record, five trips to the postseason and the 2016 Final Four.
Selected by the Sacramento Monarchs in the 1998 WNBA Draft, Barnes spent time playing for Sacramento, Minnesota and Cleveland before being traded to Seattle in 2002, where she played alongside Sue Bird in helping the Storm to the 2004 WNBA title in her final season in the league. Barnes also competed internationally for several teams throughout Europe.
As a player, Barnes led the Wildcats in scoring and rebounding all four seasons (1994-95 through 1997-98) and remains Arizona’s all-time career scoring leader with 2,237 points and lists second for rebounds with 921. She was the 1998 Pacific-10 Conference player of the Year and a consensus All-American as a senior in 1997-98, and also led Arizona to its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 1997 and helped Arizona advance to the second round.