BOULDER | Longtime Colorado women’s basketball coach-turned-administrator Ceal Barry will retire in July after spending 37 years in Boulder, the school said Tuesday.
Barry helped put the Buffaloes on the women’s basketball map after taking over the program on April 12, 1983. She went 427-242 over 22 seasons in Boulder that included 12 appearances in the NCAA Tournament. Her squads had 13 20-win seasons and captured four conference titles. She stepped down April 2005 as Colorado’s winningest coach in all sports.
Her next career path: Administration.
Barry was named the school’s associate athletic director for student services. She added the title of senior woman’s administrator a year later. Barry has served as the department’s deputy athletic director since August 2018.
“It’s the right time. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time in intercollegiate athletics, and I couldn’t have picked a better place than the University of Colorado to spend the vast majority of my career,” said Barry, who was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018. “It was a perfect fit — CU, Boulder, Colorado. Not everybody gets to stay at the same place for 37 years.”
The school said Barry retires as the fifth-longest tenured employee in Colorado athletic department history.
“I can’t express what Ceal has meant to this University, department and to me personally,” athletic director Rick George said. “Ceal has represented all of us in such a dignified way throughout her career. She has accomplished more than most as both a coach and then as an administrator and has had a career that will leave its mark on CU for years to come.
“She will be greatly missed but she will always have a home in our athletic department.”
Barry was a player at the University of Kentucky before being hired as an assistant coach at Cincinnati. At 24, she was named the head coach of the Bearcats, where she spent four seasons.
Her career record was 510-284.
Barry remained involved in basketball after her coaching career. She worked as an analyst for men’s and women’s games along with being a member of the NCAA’s Division I Women’s Championship Committee for the last three years.