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Kim Barnes Arico finished her 10th season as the head coach of the University of Michigan Women’s basketball team in 2021-22, leading the Maize and Blue to 25 wins and the first NCAA Elite Eight appearance in program history. Throughout her 10-year tenure, she has guided the Wolverines to at least 20 wins in nine seasons, five NCAA Tournament appearances, an NCAA Elite Eight appearance (2022), an NCAA Sweet 16 appearance (2021) and the 2017 WNIT Championship. Barnes Arico is the winningest coach in program history with 218 wins, the only coach to ever eclipse 200 victories. 

Prior to joining the Maize and Blue, she spent 10 seasons at the helm of the St. John’s women’s hoops program, building the Red Storm into a national power. She guided St. John’s to four NCAA Tournament appearances, with the Red Storm advancing to the Sweet 16 in 2012.
Barnes Arico compiled a 176-133 overall record and five 20-win campaigns at St. John’s. She was a two-time Big East Coach of the Year (2006, 2012) and had 11 players earn All-Big East honors, with six receiving all-rookie team nods.

Barnes Arico also completed a two-year stint with USA Basketball (2014-15), serving as an assistant coach alongside Dawn Staley (South Carolina) and Jeff Walz (Louisville) for the U18 (2014) and U19 (2015) teams. She won a pair of gold medals at the FIBA U19 World Championships in 2015 and at the FIBA U18 America’s Championship in 2014.

In our conversation today we discuss her unique journey into coaching from a lightly recruited player, to a coach who was never an assistant coach until the US National team. As she forged her path as a Head Coach, she discovered how to build and sustain a culture that mirrored her high effort playing style and competitiveness, matched with a belief in her players that turned around struggling programs and led them to national prominence. 


BIG NEWS: Save the date, the 2023 Way of Champions Conference will be held August 4-6, 2023 at Colorado Academy in Denver, CO. Click here to learn more, registration will open January 1, and we will be announcing guest speakers and other conference related events soon. Its going to be amazing to be back in person in 2023! 

This week’s podcast is brought to you by our friends at Sprocket Sports.  Sprocket Sports is a new software platform for youth sports clubs.  There are a lot of these systems out there, but Sprocket provides the full enchilada. They give you all the cool front-end stuff to make your club look good– like websites and marketing tools – AND all the back-end transactions and services to run your business better so you can focus on what really matters – your players and your teams. 

Sprocket is built for those clubs looking to thrive, not just survive, in the competitive world of youth sports clubs.  So if you’ve been looking for a true business partner – not just another app – check them out today at

Become a Podcast Champion! This weeks podcast is also sponsored by our Patreon Podcast Champions. Help Support the Podcast and get FREE access to our most popular online courses, a $300 value. If you love the podcast, we would love for you to become a Podcast Champion, ( for as little as a cup of coffee per month (OK, its a Venti Mocha), to help us up the ante and provide even better interviews, better sound, and an overall enhanced experience. Plus, as a $10 per month Podcast Super-Champion, you will have access to never before released and bonus material, including:

  • Downloadable transcripts of our best podcasts, so you don’t have to crash your car trying to take notes!
  • A code to get free access to our online course called “Coaching Mastery,” usually a $97 course, plus four other courses worth over $100, all yours for free for becoming a patron.
  • Other special bonus opportunities that come up time to time
  • Access to an online community of coaches like you who are dedicated listeners of the podcast, and will be able to answer your questions and share their coaching experiences.

Thank you for all your support these past four years, and a special big thank you to all of you who become part of our inner circle, our patrons, who will enable us to take our podcast to the next level.


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Tagged under: basketball, Coaching, leadership