Nancy Lieberman on Coach Barefoot and the Lady Monarchs:
Head Coaching Record: 279-205
A three-time Kodak/WBCA All-American as a player (holds the recognition of being the first player in NCAA history, male or female, to score over 2,000 points and accumulate 1,000 assists during her career), Barefoot was recognized as one of Christopher Newport University's 50th Anniversary Distinguished Alumni. Coach Barefoot is in the midst of her 21st season as a head coach and fifth as the fearless leader of the Lady Monarchs.
Throughout Barefoot’s coaching career, she has resurrected four different programs, which included postseason opportunities and first ever championships, as well as elevated academic success. Each and every day on and off the court, Barefoot brings limitless energy, focus, dedication and motivation to the Old Dominion University women’s basketball program, which she is in the process of bringing back to national prominence.
Barefoot led the Lady Monarchs to a 21-13 overall record during the 2014-15 season, which is the most wins during the Barefoot era at Old Dominion. ODU went a perfect 4-0 against in-state competition, taking down the likes of UVA, Virginia Tech, VCU and William & Mary. The Lady Monarchs advanced to their conference semi-finals for the first time since the 2009-10 season. Coach Barefoot also led Old Dominion back to the WNIT, where the team advanced to the second round for the second consecutive year after taking down UVA of the ACC in the first round. A total of eight Lady Monarchs earned a 3.0 GPA or higher for the academic year.
Jennie Simms was named the 2014-15 Conference USA Newcomer of the Year, as well as garnered First Team All C-USA and All C-USA Tournament Team honors. On Jan. 29, Simms moved to second all-time in Lady Monarchs history for most points in a single game by scoring 45 points in ODU’s 80-67 victory at FIU. Only ODU’s Anne Donovan has scored more points in a Lady Monarchs uniform.
On Feb. 9, 2015, ODU picked up the program’s first ever win at LA Tech in a 72-71 thrilling victory on national television. As a team in 2014-15, the Lady Monarchs led the C-USA in field-goal percentage defense (.377) and defensive rebounds per contest (29.0), while ranking second in the conference for rebounding margin (+3.1) and average attendance (2,623).
As a program, Old Dominion will enter the 2015-16 season just three wins shy of reaching 1,000 all-time victories.
The fourth annual Education Day game on Dec. 3, 2014, marked the first ever sellout at the Ted Constant Center for the Old Dominion women’s basketball team, in a game that Lady Monarchs cruised past Howard by a score of 75-54. The crowd of 8,472 is the seventh highest attendance ever in the state of Virginia to watch a regular season college women’s basketball game. The attendance was also the second largest for a Lady Monarchs regular season game ever.
Shae Kelley, a former Barefoot recruit, was selected No. 35 overall in the 2015 WNBA Draft by the Minnesota Linx. Kelley played two seasons under Coach Barefoot at ODU and became one of just five players in the school’s illustrious history surpass 1,000 points scored in a player’s first two seasons at the school.
In 2013-14, Barefoot coached the Lady Monarchs to an 18-16 record including a trip to the second round of the WNIT. Barefoot led the squad to a first-round bye in the C-USA tournament in the school’s first season within the conference and garnered her 250th career win in a thrilling overtime comeback victory over Marshall (2/1).
Barefoot helped junior Shae Kelley land the honor of being named to the 2014 All-Conference USA First Team, as well as guided the Lady Monarchs to attaining a cumulative team GPA over 3.0 and had six players named to the C-USA Academic Honor Roll, including two Academic Medal recipients. Barefoot and company reeled in the No. 43 recruiting class in the nation, which is the highest-ranked class in Conference USA. Under her leadership, senior Becca Allison received the C-USA Spirit of Service Award and freshman Jennie Simms was named the NAACP’s Female Athlete of the Year.
On December 4, 2013, the women’s basketball team had 8,086 elementary school children at the Ted Constant Convocation Center for its third annual Education Day Game with the Norfolk Public Schools. The game marked the Lady Monarchs’ highest attended game since the Ted opened in 2002.
The local native has a passion for giving back to her hometown, as the Lady Monarchs basketball team won the Monarch Cup Challenge for the 2013-14 season, which is awarded to the team at ODU that best exemplified service in the community and on campus.
In August of 2013, Old Dominion University athletic director Dr. Wood Selig announced that Karen Barefoot received a new five-year contract that will extend through the 2017-18 season.
“Karen has quickly illustrated in her first two years as our head women’s basketball coach that she possesses the drive, professional contacts, teaching ability, and knowledge to direct our program to national prominence. This is a natural second contract for Karen who reflects enhanced performance incentives while also restoring her to an employment term of five years as we transition to C-USA,” says Selig.
In her 19-year coaching career, Karen Barefoot has been a part of 16 winning seasons and an overall coaching record of 335-215. She is a proven winner that has made history in resurrecting programs, winning championships and producing success in the classroom and in the community. She became one of the youngest head coaches at the age of 22 and her passion for the game of basketball is contagious.
In just 16 years as a head coach, Karen Barefoot has compiled 13 winning seasons and has won two National Coach of the Year awards.
Just as she expects out of her players, Barefoot is an extremely active member of the community, being involved in the Lady Monarchs Hoops for the Cure, Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Coaches vs. Cancer, "Barefootin' Night" to support Samaritan's Feet and visiting countless schools and starting the first ever ODU "Education Day" game, just to name a few.
She is also seen in the community as one of the top speakers in the Hampton Roads area, speaking for organizations, An Achievable Dream, school graduations and heavily involved in the Lady Monarchs annual golf tournament, which raised more than $45,000 in 2012.
In year two, Barefoot guided ODU to a 9-3 start in non-conference action which was the best start since the 1998-99 season for the Lady Monarchs. The team tallied 19 wins, an eight-win turnaround from the 2011-12 season, which was tied for 14th best nationally and earned a spot in the WNIT. Old Dominion finished in fourth place in the CAA and defeated eventual WNIT champion Drexel at home while compiling a 12-5 overall record at the Ted. Earning All-CAA Second Team honors was Shae Kelley, who was the only underclassmen to be named to any of the three teams. Jackie Cook became the 30th player in ODU history to score 1,000 points and was named All-CAA Third Team while Galaisha Goodhope earned a spot on the CAA All-Rookie Team. Barefoot also helped the Lady Monarchs succeed in the classroom as Mairi Buchan earned All-CAA Academic First Team honors while Ashley Betz-White was honorable mention. Buchan also earned CoSIDA First-Team All-Academic for the second consecutive year.
In her first season at Old Dominion, Barefoot raised the bar in the community, as the Lady Monarchs participated in more than 10 activities off the court. On the court, Barefoot guided Ashley Betz-White to CAA Rookie of the Year honors and helped Betz-White and Myeisha Hall earn All-Rookie honors. Senior Tia Lewis was named to the All-CAA squad, All State and earned a tryout with the WNBA's Washington Mystics while Mairi Buchan was named First-Team All-Academic and CoSIDA First-Team All-Academic.
Barefoot made her presence known on the recruiting trail at Old Dominion, as she signed the Virginian-Pilot Player of the Year, Galaisha Goodhope, and the Peninsula District and Daily Press Player of the Year, LaQuanda Younger. Also coming in during the 2012-13 season was Miami, (Fla.) transfer Stephanie Gardner, who in 2010-11, helped the Hurricanes to their first Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) regular-season championship as well as junior college All-American Shae Kelley and earned as Ms. Colorado Basketball honors coming out of high school.
The Lady Monarchs brought in a top-45 nationally ranked recruiting class and the No. 1 class in the CAA for the 2012-13 season.
Barefoot, who hails from Newport News, Va. (Menchville High School), has a career head coaching record of 258-192, resulting in 12 winning seasons. Aside from Elon, Barefoot has also held the head coaching position at Division II Lenoir Rhyne University and at the Apprentice School.
Barefoot helped Elon reach new heights in 2010-11, as the Phoenix finished the season with a 20-13 record - the program's best season at the Division I level and only the fifth team in program history to reach the 20-win plateau. The Phoenix 11 home victories marked the most home wins in a single season in the Division I era, while the team's postseason appearance in the Women's Basketball Invitational was the first since joining Division I. Elon recorded its 20th win of the season in the WBI. Barefoot also led Elon to 12 victories in SoCon play, doubling their 2009-10 total and tying the 2003-04 squad for the most SoCon wins in a season.
Prior to coming to Elon, Barefoot was an assistant coach at Old Dominion, where the team compiled a 77-23 record, won three CAA Championships, and was a perennial top-25 program. In 2007-08, ODU advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, defeating 12th-seeded Liberty University and fourth-seeded Virginia, which to this day is one of the most memorable games in the history of the Ted Constant Convocation Center. The Lady Monarchs completed 2007-08 with a 31-5 record. Along with its 17th consecutive Colonial Athletic Association crown, ODU earned a ranking as high as 11th in the nation.
Barefoot originally came to Old Dominion after serving as the head coach at Division II Lenoir-Rhyne from 2001-2005. While at the NCAA Division II school, Barefoot captured the first South Atlantic Conference regular season title in school history in 2003-04 en route to claiming league Coach of the Year honors. Under her leadership, the team also grabbed the first SAC tournament championship in school history in 2002-03. That year, the team finished the season ranked eighth in the region following its first-ever trip to the NCAA Division II National Tournament. In her first year at Lenoir-Rhyne, she led the program to its best record in 15 years, going 19-9 Barefoot coached Lenoir-Rhyne's first NCAA First Team All-American, South Atlantic Player of the Year and SAC Tournament Most Valuable Player. Additionally, under her guidance the Bears had four student-athletes earn All-SAC honors and 13 student-athletes named to the SAC Commissioner's honor roll.