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Big East Coach of the Year: Another Honor for Barnes Arico in an Already Impressive Season

Monday, March 5, 2012

Kim Barnes Arico, St. John’s University’s all-time winningest women’s basketball coach, added another tribute to her résumé when she was named 2012 BIG EAST Coach of the Year on Friday. She also received the title in 2006.

“It’s an honor for me to be named Big East Coach of the Year,” Barnes Arico said in an interview with BIGEAST. TV. “For me to be recognized by our coaches is truly thrilling because I think there are so many of them in our league that are deserving of this award.”

News of the award came one day after she was named to the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Women’s National Coach of the Year award watch list.

In this, her 10th year as head coach of the St. John’s women’s basketball team, Barnes Arico not only became the team’s most winning coach, but she also took a team picked to finish seventh in the BIG EAST to the No. 2 seed in the conference’s definitive tournament.

Barnes Arico and the Red Storm won their final eight games and 10 of their last 11, to finish out the regular season with a 21-8 overall record. During their run, the Red Storm knocked off No. 2 Connecticut, 57-56, on Feb. 18, ending the Huskies’ 99-game home winning streak and grabbing national headlines.

The only coach in St. John’s program history to have five 20-win seasons, Barnes Arico led the team to its third-straight 20-win season. St. John’s is currently ranked No. 18 in the Associated Press Poll and No. 21 in the Today Coaches Poll after starting the season at 5-5.

Looking forward to the Big East Tournament and beyond, Barnes Arico is quick to credit the women in her 2011-2012 squad. “They’re really a special group,” she said. “I want us to continue to work and have that fire, because I think we still have a lot of games in us and a lot of winning left.”