Once a Wildcat, always a Wildcat.
In exciting news that was just recently released. It seems as if we have not one, but TWO former Wildcats going into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in former head coach Mickie DeMoss and former player Ceal Barry. Although they’re going in to the hall of fame for their accomplishments outside of the University of Kentucky. It’s still nice to take a moment and appreciate what they accomplished in their time here.
A Kentucky native, Ceal Barry was the first woman to ever receive a scholarship for tuition to play basketball for UK. She spent four years as a guard for the Cats playing under former coach Debbie Yow.
During her senior year (1976-1977), in what was probably her biggest moment as a Wildcat, her and fellow Wildcats upset No. 2 ranked Tennessee Tech at Memorial Coliseum.
After her playing days were over, she went on to be a head coach at Cincinnati and Colorado State. She eventually won Women’s National Head Coach of the Year in 1994. Ms. Barry finally retired from coaching in 2005 and finished her historic career with a total of 510 victories.
When Mickie DeMoss was with Pat Summit at the Tennessee, it was unclear if she would ever leave. She had been an assistant for nearly twenty years for the Lady Vol’s and had won countless championships with Summit.
But once DeMoss decided to throw her hat in the circle, it was clear she was up for the challenge to turn the program around. She helped the Wildcats achieve their first winning season since 99-00, she helped nearly triple the sale of season tickets, and most importantly put an emphasis on recruiting.
Undoubtedly her best season was during the 2005-2006 campaign when her team dethroned at the time top ranked Tennessee and Pat Summit at Rupp Arena. She reached the NCAA tourney for the first time in nearly seven years and was named SEC Coach of the Year.
After the 2006-2007 season, DeMoss abruptly resigned from the University of Kentucky. For which she held a press conference on Aprill 11th, 2007 and DeMoss claimed “After 30 years of coaching, I just want to step back and reassess what I want to do for the rest of my life.”
DeMoss had stepped away from the Wildcats and a brand new 5-year contract to revaluate her life. She has since taken multiple coaching jobs at multiple universities as well as organizations within the WNBA.
Congrats to former Wildcats Mickie DeMoss and Ceal Barry, we appreciate your dedication and hard work during your time at The University of Kentucky. Go Cats!