For 30 years, Ceal Barry has risen to the challenges of her various duties at the University of Colorado.

On Tuesday, she was handed a new challenge when CU pressured athletic director Mike Bohn into resigning and appointed Barry as the interim AD.

"It's an exciting opportunity," she said. "I'm looking forward to it."

After 22 years of coaching the women's basketball team, Barry has worked for the past eight years as the senior woman administrator and associate athletics director.

A potential candidate for the full-time position, Barry said she has yet to entertain those thoughts.

"There are too many other things to do, so I can't answer that right now," she said of whether she would be interested in being the full-time AD. "I'm not in this position to lobby for myself. I'm in this position to work with our senior staff, who I respect and trust, and most important, I'm committed to our student-athletes. We owe them an honest effort this summer. That's my No. 1 focus."

Barry said that in recent years, she has thought about applying for athletic director jobs at Division II schools in Denver, but "that's as far as it got."

Because CU's search committee, which will put together a job description, has not even been formed yet, Barry said, "I've got a little time to think about (whether to apply).


For now, Barry said she needs to lead the department to the best of her ability. She said the summer months are crucial as the Buffs prepare for the fall season. She talked about the importance of the department being there for the 100 freshman athletes that will arrive on campus this summer. She also talked about the importance of marketing and ticket sales efforts throughout the summer.

One of Barry's first duties, she said, will be to come up with a balanced budget. The new fiscal year begins July 1, and over the next few weeks, Barry said she will go over revenue expectations and how to use those funds for the 17 sports programs.

"I'm going to rely on Cory Hilliard, who is our business manager, and I'm going to rely on Kelly Fox, who is our senior vice president for finance for advice and how we can formulate a plan that next year at this time we feel really, really good about and we're proud of ourselves in how we conducted our business," Barry said.

Taking over the job on interim basis has brought on several different emotions this week, Barry said.

"It's human nature to have mixed emotions when you work along side somebody as closely as we all did for eight years with Mike," she said. "But, if you allow yourself to get distracted, you hurt your student athletes and you hurt your coaches and their opportunities to win games. We can't waste time. We can't fritter away opportunities. We're obligated. That's our responsibility as professionals, to be focused and do our jobs."

It's a job that Barry is serious about. Whether or not she becomes the full-time athletic director -- or even wants to entertain the thought -- she will always be committed to the best interests of the school and it's athletes.

"I intend to live in this community for a long time and I like to watch winning teams," she said.

Barry is likely to be one of several people the Buffs look at for the full-time job over the next few weeks.

At this point, no candidates have been officially identified. However, some potential candidates include: Memphis AD Tom Bowen, who is a Denver native; UMass associate AD Rocko DeLuca, a Greeley native who previous worked as assistant AD at CU; Texas Rangers president of business operations Rick George, who worked at CU from 1987-91; St. Louis University AD Chris May, who worked at CU for more than 20 years before going to St. Louis in 2008; and CU booster George Solich, who has the extensive business background that might appeal to the Buffs.

"As we approach a budget of $50-60 million and see that growing each year, I want to make sure we have an AD who will run the athletic department like a business," chancellor Phil DiStefano said. "I think the business perspective and the fund-raising perspective are crucial."

DiStefano said of potential candidates: "What I want to do is cast a wide net and see the applicants that come in and make the decision on getting the best person possible."

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