Posted: Jun 29, 2012 4:21 PM by Scott Breen - Q2 Sports
Updated: Jun 29, 2012 4:21 PM
BOZEMAN - With over twenty-five years of NCAA Division I women's basketball experience, including six seasons as head coach at Gonzaga University, Kellee Barney has joined the Montana State program as an assistant coach, announced Bobcat head coach Tricia Binford.
Barney replaces Giuliana Mendiola, who left MSU to take an assistant coaching job at UC Riverside.
"It's not often that you get a coach with Kellee's experience," Binford said. "Her familiarity with the Northwest region, along with the west coast, will be beneifical to the program. In addition, she has a wide array of talents and knowledge of the game. She knows what it takes to run a successful program. Throughout her career she has done a great job of connecting with student-athletes and getting the most out of them. We're excited that she is a Bobcat."
Most recently, Barney served as an assistant coach at Oregon State from 2008-10. In her first season, she helped the club win 20 games, the most since the 1994-95 season. OSU improved by eight victories from the previous year, which was one of the top marks in the nation. The Beavers also made a trip to the Women's National Invitational Tournament (WNIT). In Pac-10 play, Oregon State notched a 9-9 mark, which was the school's highest finish since the 1995-96 season.
"Becoming a part of the Bobcat family is a tremendous opportunity for me to get back to what I'm most passionate about, and that's basketball," Barney said. "Coach Binford and the entire MSU staff are well-respected and I'm looking forward to working with the administration, the staff and the student-athletes."
Prior to OSU, Barney spent six years as the assistant head coach/recruiting coordinator at the University of Arizona. During her stay with the Wildcats, Arizona reached the NCAA Tournament three times, winning its first postseason game since 2000 in 2005. The Wildcats also shared the 2003-04 Pac-10 regular season championship with Stanford.
Before making her way to Tucson, Barney served as head coach at Gonzaga University, where she produced two first team All-West Coast Conference selections, six honorable mention All-WCC choices and seven players who earned WCC All-Academic honors. Her 1998-99 team placed in the top 10 nationally for overall team grade-point average.
Barney got her first taste of Pac-10 basketball at Washington State, where she served as associate head coach for the Cougars from 1985-94. During her tenure in Pullman, Barney coached current MSU Associate Head Coach Amy (Saneholtz) Starr. As associate head coach, she helped the Cougars to the NCAA Tournament in 1991.
Her tenure at Washington State also helped her gain international coaching experience. Barney was an assistant coach for the Pac-10 All-Star Team during its tour of Hungary in 1989 and Belgium and France in 1992.
She began her coaching career under the legendary Jim Sollars at the University of Portland from 1983-85.
Barney earned a bachelor of science degree in sociology from Idaho in 1983. She played for the Vandals for two seasons and was part of the 1982 squad that went 27-5.
She also played at Wenatchee Valley College for Sollars from 1980-81, winning state championships both years.
Barney, who spent last season in private business, has a 15-year-old son, Jarryd.