Women's Basketball Coaching Staff
Coach Info:

Experience: 6th year with the Lady Monarchs
ODU Record: 103-93 / 6 Seasons 
Head Coaching Record: 313-236 / 19 Seasons 
Career Coaching Record: 390-258 / 22 Seasons

Karen Barefoot began her coaching career as one of the youngest head coaches at the age of 22 and has a proven herself as a winner that has made history in resurrecting programs, winning championships and producing success in the classroom and in the community. Throughout Barefoot’s 22-year coaching career, she has been a part of 17 winning seasons and holds an overall coaching record of 390-258. She has resurrected three different programs, which included creating postseason opportunities and reaching first ever championships, as well as elevating academic success. Each and every day, on and off the court, the two-time Hall of Famer brings limitless energy, focus, dedication and motivation to her program and her passion for the game of basketball is unparalleled.

In 19 years as a head coach, Barefoot has compiled 15 winning seasons, nine national postseason tournament appearances and has won two National Coach of the Year awards. The passionate mentor completed her 19th season as a head coach and sixth as the fearless leader of the Lady Monarchs in 2016-17.

After taking over the roll of "Conference Captain," the NCAA representative from Conference USA, in 2015-16, Barefoot is set to represent the league once more for the upcoming season. She also represents the NCAA Mideast Region, which oversees the MEAC, OVC, Sun Belt, A-Sun, MAC, SEC and SoCon and is one of just four regions in the country. Barefoot is also a WBCA facilitator for the Coaching Mentorship program.

Most recently, Barefoot earned her 300th victory as a head coach with a win over VCU in 2016-17. She also helped guide the Lady Monarchs to their 1,000th program victory in 2015-16, becoming just the fourth school in NCAA Division I women’s basketball to do so. One of Barefoot’s greatest achievements at ODU is establishing the annual Education Day game, which completed its sixth year in 2016-17. The Education Day game has been a sellout the past three seasons and, in 2014-15, was the first ODU women’s basketball sell-out at The Ted. The 2016-17 crowd of 8,563 was also a Ted Constant Center record for attendance. 


Barefoot guided the Lady Monarchs to a 17-14 overall record and an 11-7 mark in Conference USA play. ODU advanced to the quarterfinals of the C-USA Tournament, but dropped a close game to No. 3 seed and eventual runner-up Southern Miss. 

During the course of the season, Barefoot reached a pair of significant milestones, notching her 300th victory as a head coach with a 70-60 victory over VCU at Dec. 9, 2016, and then tallying her 100th victory as a head coach at Old Dominion with a 72-70 win at Charlotte on Feb. 19, 2017. 

The Lady Monarchs opened the season with a 5-3 record in their first eight games and with two of three losses coming to highly-ranked ACC opponents in Duke and Miami (FL). During the opening eight-game stretch, ODU also toppled Dartmouth, 82-56, in the Sixth Annual Education Day Game, which broke the Ted Constant Center attendance record with 8,563 fans. A total of A total of 7,813 students from 33 different Norfolk Public Schools were in attendance for the annual tradition and it marked the third consecutive sellout for Education Day.

Overall, Old Dominion finished its non-conference slate, which featured five NCAA Tournament teams, with a 6-7 record. The Lady Monarchs opened C-USA play with a dominant 59-47 victory at Rice and then caught fire late in the season, as ODU went 9-3 over a 12-game span from Jan. 14 to March 2. Over that span, Barefoot's squad grinded out a 69-64 victory at LA Tech and a 72-70 win at Charlotte. ODU ended C-USA play with an 11-7 record and earned the No. 6 seed at the C-USA Tournament.

After defeating UTEP, 80-70, in the first round of the tournament, the Lady Monarchs had their season come to a close in devastating fashion with a 80-74 loss to eventual tournament finalist Southern Miss.

Overall, the Lady Monarchs led C-USA in overall rebounding margin (+7.5) and fourth in scoring offense (71.0). Jennie Simms was the conference's leading scorer (26.0) and Destinee Young was the conference's top rebounder (10.7). In conference play, ODU also led the league in three-point field percentage (.378) and ranked third in field goal percentage (.465). 

Seniors Jennie Simms and Destinee Young headlined the postseason honors for Barefoot's squad. Simms, the nation's second-leading scorer at 26.0 points, was named the C-USA Player of the Year and an Honorable Mention AP All-American. Young, who developed from a bench player during her freshman season to one of the nation's top rebounders, earned Second Team All-C-USA honors and was also named to the C-USA All-Defensive Team. 

Barefoot and the Lady Monarch basketball program averaged 2,366 fans per home game during the 2016-17 season, which ranked 52nd in the nation ahead of several Power 5 programs, including North Carolina, Kansas, LSU, UCLA, Alabama, Syracuse, Virginia Tech and Florida.

The Lady Monarchs ended the season with a 17-17 overall record and a 10-8 mark in Conference USA play, advancing to the tournament’s title game as the unlikely No. 5 seed and seeing plenty of success along the way. The Lady Monarchs opened the month of December with a 64-41 victory over Loyola in the fifth annual Education Day game, which marked the second consecutive Education Day sellout for the Lady Monarchs. The crowd of 8,472 screaming fans tied the record for the seventh-highest attendance in the state of Virginia to watch a regular season college women’s basketball game.

The good times kept rolling, as Barefoot played an instrumental role in ODU becoming just the fourth Division I women’s basketball program to reach 1,000 wins with a win on Dec. 15 at Howard. The Lady Monarchs joined Tennessee, Louisiana Tech and James Madison on the 1,000 wins list.

Old Dominion entered Conference USA play with a 4-8 non-conference record, but the Lady Monarchs made their presence known. Conference action began on Jan. 3, when ODU defeated Charlotte, 71-59, behind three players in double-figure points.

At Middle Tennessee two weeks later, the Lady Monarchs again made some noise, this time on the national scale. With less than a second on the clock, freshman Makayla Timmons drilled a 40-foot three-pointer in front of her family and friends from Columbia, Tenn., to lift ODU over MTSU, 61-58. Timmons’ shot was heard and seen around the world, as it was featured as the No. 7 play on ESPN’s SportsCenter Top-10 Plays segment that night. Not only did the shot make television, but coach Barefoot and the Old Dominion Lady Monarchs handed MTSU head coach Rick Insell just his sixth home conference loss since joining the Blue Raiders’ program 11 years ago.

After a rough snow ridden trip to WKU and Marshall, the Lady Monarchs strung together four straight wins over the span of three weeks. The streak started with an 85-45 routing of Florida Atlantic and finished with a 65-48 victory over North Texas in Denton, Texas. During that span Old Dominion outscored its opponents 328-227, which included a season-high 94 points in the win over Charlotte.

The Lady Monarchs closed the season winning five of their last six games, which included a spectacular run to the Conference USA championship game. ODU downed No. 13 North Texas, No. 4 Charlotte and No. 1 seed UTEP, before falling to No. 2 Middle Tennessee in the title match. Barefoot helped two players etch their names in the tournament record book, as Ije Ajemba tied the tournament record with 21 rebounds against the 49ers and Jennie Simms finished the tournament with 98 points, ranking her third all-time. Simms was also named to the all-tournament team for the second time.

The passionate coach inspired her team to be a defensive force in conference games and finished the season ranked in the top five in six defensive categories. The Lady Monarchs topped the league in rebounding margin (+6.7), while ranking second in field-goal percentage defense (.397), defensive rebounds (25.6) and defensive rebounding percentage (.691). The team was also third in scoring defense (62.2) and rebounding defense (33.6). As a team, ODU corralled 137 steals against league foes, including a season-high 13 against North Texas on March 3.

Simms, the 2015 C-USA Newcomer of the Year, repeated as a Conference USA All-Conference First Team selection under Barefoot's tutelage, as the two-time C-USA Player of the Week finished the season as the league’s overall (21.4) and conference (22.2) scoring leader. Simms became the program's first two-time First Team All-Conference honoree since T.J. Jordan earned two accolades in 2007 and 2008 from the CAA. She had poured in double-digits 28 times this season and was the only player in C-USA to notch 35-plus points three times. She also held the conference top scoring mark for the season after a 39-point onslaught at UTSA. In all, Simms had five 30-plus point performances in the 2015-16 campaign, the most in C-USA.

Off the court, the Lady Monarchs had seven players receive Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll recognition and the team was one of six Old Dominion programs to achieve a perfect APR score for the 2014-15 school year, a drastic turnaround since Barefoot took over the program.

Barefoot led the Lady Monarchs to a 21-13 overall record, which marks the most wins during the Barefoot era at Old Dominion. The Lady Monarchs went a perfect 4-0 against in-state competition, taking down 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. 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).

The Lady Monarchs highlighted the season by picking up the program’s first ever win at LA Tech in a 72-71 thrilling victory on national television and on the fourth annual Education Day game on Dec. 3, the program saw its first ever sellout at the Ted Constant Center. The crowd of 8,472 marked 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.

At the conclusion of the season, Jennie Simms was named the 2014-15 Conference USA Newcomer of the Year and garnered First Team All C-USA along with 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 in ODU’s 80-67 victory at FIU. Only ODU’s Anne Donovan has scored more points in a Lady Monarchs uniform.

Shae Kelley, a former Barefoot recruit, was selected No. 35 overall in the 2015 WNBA Draft by the Minnesota Lynx. Kelley played two seasons under Barefoot at ODU and became one of just five players in the school’s illustrious history to surpass 1,000 points scored in a player’s first two seasons at the school. Kelley also became just the fourth Lady Monarch to claim a WNBA Championship, winning the 2015 crown with the Lynx. Barefoot also mentored 2015 graduate Tiffany Minor, who was named a conference nominee for the prestigious NCAA Woman of the Year award.

Barefoot stressed the importance of academics as well and had a total of eight Lady Monarchs earned a 3.0 GPA or higher for the academic year. She was an instrumental part of the program improving upon its multi and single-year APR standings and receiving a perfect single-year APR score of 1000 for the third time during her tenure.

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).

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. At the time, the game marked the Lady Monarchs’ highest attended game since the Ted opened in 2002.

Barefoot helped Shae Kelley land 2014 All-Conference USA First Team honors, 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 was 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.

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 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 regular-season championship. She also signed junior college All-American Shae Kelley, who earned Ms. Colorado Basketball honors coming out of high school. The class marked a top-45 nationally ranked recruiting class and the No. 1 class in the CAA for the 2012-13 season.

At the conclusion of the season, 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.


First win at ODU: 77-76 vs Alabama (11/24/11 | Paradise Jam)
50th win at ODU: 66-58 vs William & Mary (11/17/14)
100th win at ODU: 72-70 at Charlotte (2/19/17)
First head coaching win: 47-34 vs Chowan (12/9/95 | The Apprentice School)
100th head coaching win: 81-52 at Lincoln (2/17/01 | The Apprentice School)
200th head coaching win: 64-47 at Wofford (1/16/11 | Elon University)
300th head coaching win: 70-60 vs VCU (12/19/16)


Before becoming the Lady Monarchs' head coach, Barefoot held the head coaching positions at Elon, Lenoir Rhyne and The Apprentice School and was the assistant coach under Wendy Larry at ODU for three seasons.

Barefoot served as the head coach at Elon from 2008-2011 and helped the program 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.

Barefoot displayed her recruiting strength by bringing in Ali Ford, the North Carolina Athlete of the Year coming out of high school. During her collegiate career, Ford became the first ever Freshman of the Year honoree at Elon in its Division I era. After graduating, she continued her playing career and represented the USA in the 2015 FIBA Games.

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 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.

While at Lenoir-Rhyne, 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 the first NCAA First Team All-American in Crystal Clary, who led the nation in rebounding her junior season, and the first ever SAC Player of the year in Hall of Fame inductee Maya Gady. 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.

Barefoot's coaching journey began at the ripe age of 22 at The Apprentice School, where she began the first ever women's athletics program at the school in 1995. Under her tutelage, the Lady Builders quickly achieved respectability and captured Apprentice's first national title in 2001 by winning the National Small College Athletic Association tournament. They repeated in 2002, winning the national tournament of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association. Her Lady Builders teams were 102-42 through six seasons as the head coach and she was twice named the NSCAA Coach of the Year. She added to her collection of eight MVP awards from the Peninsula Sports Club while playing, with the Special Achievement award in 2000 and the Board of Directors award in 2001 for her time and efforts at the Apprentice School. During her time, she coached her first All-American in Taffey Thomas in 1999 and went on to total seven All-Americans and four Academic All-Americans over her tenure.  Barefoot also proved to be a strong mentor at a young age, as her former Academic All-American Keisha Pexton became the first female to serve as the Athletic Director and the first African-American to hold a manager-level position at The Apprentice School since its inception in 1919.


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 and visiting countless schools. She started the first ever ODU “Education Day” game, which has turned into a Norfolk Public Schools staple, and “Barefootin’ Night” to support Samaritan’s Feet. She started Barefoot Basketball Camps in 1995, which has improved overall skills and fundamental development of children from all over the country. She is also heavily involved in the Lady Monarchs annual golf tournament, which raised more than $50,000 in 2016. Since its inception in 2002, the tournament has raised, after expenses, in excess of $700,000 for the for Lady Monarch’s program and over $250,000 during her head coaching tenure.

Passionate, dynamic and inspiring Barefoot is also a master motivator, not only of teams, but also of individuals and organizations, encouraging them to succeed beyond even their own expectations. She is one of the top speakers in the Hampton Roads area, speaking at a multitude of organizations, school graduations and professional development settings. She highlighted 2016 by being the feature speaker at Norfolk Shipbuilding, a place where she was a fifth generation worker while coaching at The Apprentice School, and the Norfolk, Chesapeake and Peninsula Sports Clubs. 


A 1995 graduate of Christopher Newport University, Barefoot led the Captains to three NCAA tournaments, including a Sweet 16 run as a freshman. During her career, she posted a 73-34 overall record and 35-9 mark in conference play, leading the team to three regular season titles and a conference tournament trophy. Individually, she earned three Kodak/WBCA All-America honors and was a three-time All-Region selection. She also earned First Team All-Conference honors all four years and was named the league’s Player of the Year on two occasions. Barefoot 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. The standout guard posted 1,002 assists, leading the nation all four years and was featured in the Sports Illustrated Faces in the Crowd in 1994. She was recognized as one of Christopher Newport University’s 50th Anniversary Distinguished Alumni and was inducted in the CNU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1999.

After her collegiate career ended, Barefoot was invited to several WNBA training camps and had many offers to play overseas, but she made the decision to begin her coaching career in lieu of playing. Her career path did not deter the scouts, as she still received invitations while she was in the midst of coaching at The Apprentice School. Barefoot pulled double duty in 1998, as she participated in the Utah Starzz training camp in their inaugural year.

Throughout her playing career in the Hampton Roads area, Karen earned the Peninsula Sports Club's Most Outstanding Player honors four times while attending Menchville High School and continued her success in college, bringing home four more PSC Most Outstanding Player awards at Christopher Newport. 


“ODU is back where it belongs, winning and playing the game at a high level. It’s exciting to see what’s happening with our program. Our player’s passion is matched by Karen and her staff. So proud!”
- Nancy Lieberman (Lady Monarchs Alumni/Sacramento Kings Assistant Coach)

“ODU women’s basketball has a history and tradition of academic commitment and athletic excellence. It’s a joy to watch the ‘Barefoot Bunch’ embrace and continue that with such passion and tenacity.”
- Jay Harris (ESPN Sportscaster)

"I can think of no one better to have had as our speaker at the Chesapeake Sports Club's monthly luncheon. Coach Barefoot's energy and enthusiasm were nothing less than contagious. Her comments about setting and reaching goals were spot on. She held our attendees, both the adults and students, spellbound as she delivered her words of motivation and formulas for success. Our organization absolutely loved her. It was truly wonderful to witness the impact she had on our attendees and it is so pleasing to know someone of her caliber, energy and wholesomeness is out there representing ODU in a positive and wonderful way."
- Steve Johnson (Chesapeake Sports Club President)

“Coach Barefoot is one of the most inspiring coaches in the game of basketball today. She has an authentic teaching style that is fitting for today’s ball player. She inspires and motivates like no one else."
- Gannon Baker (Nike Skills Development Trainer)

"For all the folks that were not at the PSC Headliner's Night, Karen did a wonderful job as the featured guest speaker. Karen zeroed in on her 757, Menchville, CNU, and Apprentice School roots and her great family and community support as she matured into a woman in athletics. She also talked about the lessons she learned from Pat Summitt and Cathy Parson and the passion she has for basketball, people and life in general. Everyone that knows Karen wants nothing but success for her in life. You can't measure heart and that is why Karen became great in our community."
- Bobby Wills (Peninsula Sports Club Member)

“Karen has proven herself to be a consummate leader both on and off the court. Karen has been able to grow fundraising at ODU in several directions. She has been instrumental in cultivating large donors not only for the women’s basketball program, but also for broad-based University athletics needs such as the Bernett and Blanche Mitchum Basketball Performance Center. She has provided moti­vational speeches at scores of business settings where she has promoted ODU academically and athletically with outstanding success. Karen is the face of Old Dominion women’s basketball and a major contributor to the ODU family.”
- Judy Bowman (Assistant Vice President for Undergraduate Studies)

"What a wonderful topping to a great season with the news of the 2014-15 perfect APR score! To be one of only six schools is a great achievement and your athletic director, I am sure, has his chest out over this. I know that many support staff and team staff factor into this achievement, but it is the leadership from the top of the program that makes it happen. You are the motivator and engine that made this happen, and the PSC shares in support of your achievement and accomplishment!
- E. M. “Sonny” Seay, III (Peninsula Sports Club President)

"Coach Barefoot is on of the most energetic coaches you’ll see and she brings a wealth of experience to women’s basketball. Her desire to be successful is very evident in the student-athletes she puts on the floor. Her up-tempo, play hard all the time style is fun to watch.”
- Boo Williams (Hampton, Va. Youth Sports Mentor) 

“Coach Barefoot is a very passionate coach. Her wisdom, confidence, love and energy for the game made me a better player. Not only is she a wonderful basketball coach, but also a great life coach. Her presence and guidance in my life through the years will never be forgotten!”
- Crystal Clary (Former player at Lenoir Rhyne, First-ever All-American)











 C-USA Quarterfinals





 C-USA Tournament Runner-Ups





 C-USA Semifinals/WNIT 2nd Round





 C-USA Quarterfinals/WNIT 2nd Round





 WNIT 1st Round





 CAA Quarterfinals





 SoCon Quarterfinals/WBI





 SoCon Quarterfinals





 SoCon Quarterfinals


 Lenoir Rhyne





 Lenoir Rhyne





 Lenoir Rhyne



 SAC Champions/NCAA Regional


 Lenoir Rhyne








 NSCAA National Champions





 NSCAA Fourth Place





 NSCAA Third Place