Legendary Colorado coach Ceal Barry has been named a finalist for the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame class of 2018.
Barry was one of 10 finalists announced on Thursday night during the ESPN broadcast of the matchup between No. 2 Notre Dame and No. 3 Louisville.
"It is quite an honor, especially the caliber of candidates that are up this year and the caliber of candidate that are up every year," said Barry, currently CU's senior associate athletic director for internal operations and senior women's administrator. "I'm humbled by that and thrilled to be included."
The class of 2018 will be announced Feb. 12. The induction ceremony will take place June 9 at the Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tenn.
Barry coached the Buffs for 22 seasons, from 1983-2005, compiling a record of 427-242. She was the coach for 54.4 percent of the wins in program history. She also took the Buffs to 12 of the 13 NCAA Tournament appearances in program history, won four of the program's seven regular season conference titles and all five of the Buffs' conference tournament titles.
Overall, Barry had a record of 510-284 as a Division I head coach, going 83-42 in four seasons at Cincinnati.
Barry was the Big Eight Conference coach of the year four times (1989, 1993, 1994, and 1995) and was named the national coach of the year in 1994. She was inducted into CU's athletic hall of fame in 2010.
"When you're a coach, you don't think about trophies and honors and medals and things like that," she said. "Your day to day is thinking about doing the best job you can do in helping kids reach their potential. That's the fun part of being a coach."
Being named a finalist means a lot to Barry because of her passion for the sport of women's basketball. She said she went to the Women's Hall of Fame for the first time two years ago and was awed by the history.
"There's so much history and tradition in the women's game and a lot of it has been in my lifetime," she said. "To start coaching in the late 1970s and finish my career in coaching in 2005, there was so much change. To live that and be a part of it, it's your life. It's like looking at your life roll by when you walk into it physically."
Being able to go in as an inductee would mean a lot, she said, but she won't lose sleep between now and next month's announcement.
"I don't want to focus on it," she said. "If I get in, that's great. If I don't, I'm sure those that get in are well-deserving. The other nine candidates are tremendous candidates, so it's not something I'll focus on between now and then. It's just a real honor to make it this far."
The other finalists are Yelena Baranova, Rose Marie Battaglia, Christine Dailey, Mickie DeMoos, Chamique Holdsclaw, Vickie Orr, Katie Smith, Valerie Still and Tina Thompson.
The Women's Basketball Hall of Fame had its inaugural class in 1999. Since 2006, there have been six inductees each year.