KBA leaves St. John’s to take over at Michigan

Kim Barnes Arico, the women’s basketball team’s all-time winningest coach, is taking the head coaching job at Michigan after ten years at St. John’s, Michigan announced Friday.

St. John’s announced in a press release that assistant coach Joe Tartamella will take over on an interim basis and that a “national search” for a replacement is underway.

“I am excited and honored to represent the University of Michigan as its new head women’s basketball coach,” Barnes Arico said in a press release by her new school. “The University of Michigan is world renowned for its academic and athletic excellence and our program will continue to stress the Universities foundational values of being a true student-athlete – excellence in the classroom, excellence on the court and involvement in the community. I want to thank everyone associated with St. John’s University for all that they have done for me, my family and the women’s basketball program over the past 10 years.”

In 2002, Barnes Arico inherited a program that had gone 3-24 the year before she took over. Under her, St. John’s made three straight NCAA Tournament appearances from 2010-2012, and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen this season for the first time in program history. She was named Big East Coach of the Year twice – this year, and in 2006. The Johnnies went 24-10 this season, and earned a three-seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Wolverines went 20-12 under former head coach Kevin Forseth – who left the program to return to his previous job at Wisconsin-Green Bay – and lost to Oklahoma in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Barnes Arico departs Queens with a 176-133 record in her 10 seasons at the helm.

“We thank Kim for the great work she has done lifting our program to a prominent level,” athletic director Chris Monasch said in a press release.. “The foundation has been built and the aspiration of our program is to continue to compete among the nation’s best. Our appreciation and best wishes go out to Kim and her family.”