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Sports >  NCAA basketball

Arizona’s Adia Barnes to receive $5.85 million in new deal

Arizona head coach Adia Barnes directs her team during the first half of the championship game against Stanford in the women's Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament, Sunday, April 4, 2021, at the Alamodome in San Antonio.  (Associated Press)
Arizona head coach Adia Barnes directs her team during the first half of the championship game against Stanford in the women's Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament, Sunday, April 4, 2021, at the Alamodome in San Antonio. (Associated Press)
Associated Press

TUCSON, Ariz. — Arizona women’s basketball coach Adia Barnes will receive $5.85 million as part of a five-year contract extension.

The terms announced Tuesday must be approved by the Arizona Board of Regents. No changes were made to the incentive structure of the contract.

Barnes has turned Arizona from an also-ran in the Pac-12 into a national championship contender. The Wildcats had the best season in program history in 2020-21, beating national powerhouse UConn in the Final Four to reach their first national championship game.

Arizona lost to Pac-12 rival Stanford by one in the title game.

“As this past season made perfectly clear, Arizona women’s basketball has joined the nation’s elite under Coach Barnes’ leadership and will remain there for a long time to come,” Arizona athletic director Dave Heeke said in a statement. “This new contract demonstrates our continued commitment to our women’s basketball program, and to Adia, who has revitalized our program and brought the excitement and energy to a whole new level.”

Barnes was Arizona’s all-time leading scorer when she returned to her alma mater in 2016. The Wildcats had not been to the NCAA Tournament since 2005 and won three Pac-12 games the year before she arrived.

Barnes led Arizona to a WNIT title in 2019 and had the Wildcats in position to reach the NCAA Tournament last year before the postseason was canceled due to the pandemic.

Arizona had its highest ranking at No. 6 in the Associated Press Top 25 in 2020-21 and its deepest NCAA Tournament run.

Barnes is the first Arizona women’s basketball coach to have three 20-win seasons in her first five seasons. The Wildcats have gone 89-66 under her.

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