When Ceal Barry toured the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame for the first time two years ago, she was in awe of the history in the building.

"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."

Now, Barry will be included in that historic building, located in Knoxville, Tenn.

On Monday night, the legendary former University of Colorado head coach was one of seven women announced as the 2018 class of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.

"It's humbling and I'm just really thrilled about it," Barry said.

Announced as a finalist last month, Barry will be inducted along with former players Chamique Holdsclaw, Katie Smith and Tina Thompson and fellow coaches Rose Marie Battaglia, Chris Dailey and Mickie DeMoos.

This is the Hall's largest class since 2002, when eight were inducted. Each class from 2003-17 had six inductees. The induction ceremony will take place June 9 at the Hall of Fame in Knoxville.

Barry, who coached the Buffs for 22 seasons, from 1983-2005, is currently CU's senior associate athletic director for internal operations and senior women's administrator. She said in the six weeks since being named a finalist, she didn't think much about induction, but got the call last week.


"It brought back a flood of warm, positive memories of coaching," Barry said. "Coaching was such a high point of my life. I have so many fond memories, especially at CU. I coached at two schools - Cincinnati and CU - but at Colorado, it was my life. I committed myself and it made me think about all the coaches and players, and it was like a family.

"We had so many great times. It was hard work, but it was a lot of fun, too."

Former Colorado women’s basketball coach was selected to the Women’s College Basketball Hall of Fame on Monday night.
Former Colorado women's basketball coach was selected to the Women's College Basketball Hall of Fame on Monday night. (Helen H. Richardson / THE DENVER POST)

In her 22 seasons at CU, Barry compiled a record of 427-242. She was the coach for 54 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."

The Women's Basketball Hall of Fame had its inaugural class in 1999. Barry is the first person inducted with ties to the University of Colorado.

"It means a lot, I think, to represent this part of the country," she said. "It builds the brand of women's basketball to have representation from all over the country."

Contact staff writer Brian Howell at howellb@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/BrianHowell33.