Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Introducing ODU coach Karen Barefoot

Snippets from Wednesday's press conference introducing new coach Karen Barefoot at Old Dominion.

Old Dominion athletic director Wood Selig on what the search committee was seeking in making the first coaching hire for the program since 1987.

We wanted an established head coach. We felt that with the strength of our program, the fact that we are the third most successful program in the history of women's basketball, this program certainly deserves a head coach.

We wanted an individual with local ties and recruiting contacts. 

The ability to turn around a program. All you have to do is look at where Karen has been and the success Karen has enjoyed

A shared vision for national prominence.

We needed somebody with energy, drive, passion and enthusiasm to help us accomplish these goals

The ability to reignite the Lady Monarch fan base.

Words from Karen Barefoot, the sixth coach in program history:

I want to give glory to God for giving the opportunity to coach the best game ever and coach life lessons.

I am ecstatic and I am excited. I have to thank all the players I ever coached. They're the reason I do it.

I also want to thank Coach Larry for giving me an opportunity to come back to ODU and in 2008 to experience a Sweet 16.

I was 6 years old. I played on a guys team at the YMCA at Huntington Park. There was no girls team until I was in high school, so I always had to play with the boys. My brother would always tell me and his friends, 'She's not good. She's not good. She's not good.' I had to earn it when I was in high school and he finally said, 'She's good.'  " .... I'm on the guys team and I'm so excited when I scored my first basket. Unfortunately it was at the wrong end. Well let me just tell you, I'm not going to be perfect but I'll never give you less than my best.

On her four years as a player at Christopher Newport where Barefoot is the all-time assists and steals leader and second in scoring:

It was the best part of my life. I learned so much. ..Most importantly, it was the people, the fans. If you didn't get there an hour before game time, you were not getting the seat. And I'm going to tell you this at ODU: If you don't get your season ticket, you're not going to get a seat because we're going to get it done and get after it.

On Lenoir-Rhyne, where Barefoot coached from 2001-05:
It was great to build a program from the bottom to the top, and to leave that program at NCAA status was great.

On her favorite memory as an ODU assistant: ODU vs. Virginia at the Constant Center in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, 2008:

I remember telling Coach Larry, because it was my scout, 'We've got to get Jazz the ball.' It was Jazz Walters. Everybody knows Jazz Walters. Well Jazz made an unbelievable shot. When I looked around and saw the crowd and the faces, that's why I coach the game, to see the joy from this area -- to me Old Dominion has the best fans in the country, the most committed fans.

Listing her five championship rings:

Every challenge I've succeeded because you have to get the right people around you.
Our team will have fun, but they will earn fun. We will be champions on the court, off the court and in the community. We will work hard to make you proud.

The second thing that is the most important thing, We will be relentless in recruiting. That's where it starts. ... We're going after All-Americans. I believe in this region we have top-notch coaches and players.

Third, I will hire a championship staff. That is important to me. I will not rush the process. We are going to work. This is not a 9-5 job.

Number 4. The style of play. I am a player-development coach. I love to teach. I am very passionate. Our team will not take off on any possession. I am a defensive coach. We will have an uptempo system, uptempo style that our fans will love. We will have more possessions than our opponents. We will have players that will play hard and tough until the end.  .... We will have open practices a couple times of week. There are no secrets.

You are the most important part of the fifth championship ring. You are our sixth man. You are the glue; you are the reason. Old Dominion basketball will get back to the Top 25, but we need your support.

On hiring of assistant coaches:

By this weekend I will have two committed.....It's my second day on the job. I've already talked to over 300 people.

In conclusion:

I am 1,000 percent committed to you. I'm up for new ideas. We are a family and I want you to understand that my door is always open. I represent you and I promise you I'll give you all I've got.

1 comment:

  1. I, I, I, I ... too many "I". I'm not sure if it is good idea.