Tonight in Boulder, Ceal Barry will take the floor at the Coors Events Center for the final time as the coach of the CU women’s basketball team. Coach Barry has led the Buffs to a 426-240 record, including 3 Elite Eight appearances, in her 22 years at CU and I had the privilege of being in the building for both her 400th and 500th career victories.
All of her players were always the type of people you wanted to be around and I became friends with a number of them during my time at CU. None of her players were ever the type of selfish athlete you hear about today and they were always appreciative of every fan that supported them. One of my favorite memories at CU was during the trip to Vanderbilt for the 2001 NCAA Tournament. I was up earlier than most of my band friends since I’m a bit of a morning person, and I had come downstairs into the lobby to hang out so I wouldn’t wake them up. While I was sitting there Kami Carmann, the only senior on that team, came downstairs early for breakfast and saw me sitting there. At that point, she came over and sat down next to me and we just chatted about the game the night before (and our chanting for her to get in at the end of the blowout of Siena) and life in general for the next half hour or so until the rest of the team came down; something you would never see out of any of the male athletes at CU. The fact that this story is not unusual is part of the reason I always preferred watching the women’s games at CU.
I wish Coach Barry the best of luck as she moves on to become the assistant athletic director at CU. The Coors Events Center will never be the same.