McGuff Announces Hiring Of Three New Assistant Coaches
May 10, 2011
SEATTLE - The Kevin McGuff era at Washington is beginning to take shape, as the new Huskies women's basketball coach finalized the hires of three assistants this week.
The program announced the additions of Mike Neighbors, Kevin Morrison and Adia Barnes on Tuesday, giving the Huskies a trio of talented assistant coaches heading into the 2011-12 season. McGuff also retained former letterwinner Sami Whitcomb, who will handle video coordinator duties for a second straight season.
The Huskies are still conducting interviews for the director of basketball operations position, a job McGuff believes will be filled shortly.
"I couldn't be more pleased to add these three extraordinary coaches to our program," McGuff said. "Each of them brings a unique set of talents that will help build the type of environment we want for our student-athletes here at the U-Dub. Coach Neighbors worked alongside me for years building Xavier into a Top-10 program. Kevin Morrison has established himself as one of the best recruiters and developers of student-athletes in the country and Adia Barnes is one of the brightest, most up-and-coming coaching talents in Seattle."
Neighbors comes to Seattle from Xavier, where he worked with McGuff for four seasons. In 2009, Neighbors was named one of basketballscoop.com's "Rising Stars," and is considered one of the top assistant coaches in the nation. The Greenwood, Ark., native is responsible for developing the Huskies' frontline talent and scouting upcoming opponents. At Xavier, Neighbors helped McGuff form the building blocks for a program that was routinely ranked in the Top-25 and enjoyed postseason play.
The 42-year-old Neighbors holds a degree from Arkansas, the same institution he began his collegiate coaching career. He has also coached at Tulsa and Colorado. Morrison brings with him a reputation from Cal as one of the top recruiters on the West Coast, frequently signing some of the nation's best classes as an assistant with the Golden Bears. Not surprisingly, Morrison will be the Huskies recruiting coordinator.
As an assistant under former Cal coach Joanne Boyle, Morrison was responsible for securing some of the best prep talent around the nation, not just the West Coast. During his four years at Cal, Morrison was part of a coaching staff that reached the postseason every year, including an appearance in the NCAA's Sweet 16 and a WNIT championship.
"I was excited to work with someone of Coach McGuff's stature," Morrison said. "He has a proven history of success at Xavier in building championship-caliber teams. And with the resources available at the UW and being in a world-class city like Seattle, it made for an easy decision. Washington is a Top-10 public university with a great academic environment. We have the potential to do some amazing things here." Morrison is a graduate of Cal Poly Pomona with a degree in social work. Prior to arriving in Berkeley, he was the head coach of West Coast Elite, one of the premier AAU programs in the country. During his tenure he coached 44 players who went on to sign Division I scholarships, including six McDonald's All-Americans.
Barnes brings not only the pedigree of an elite-level Pac-10 athlete (she is the all-time leading scorer in Arizona history) and professional player (winning a championship with the Seattle Storm and played in Europe), but also cachet in the Seattle community.
The former WNBA pro is the current color commentator for Seattle Storm broadcasts, and is set to enter her fifth season with the club. She has also provided color commentary for women's college basketball broadcasts on ROOT Sports (previously Fox Sports Northwest). Barnes has extensive coaching ties in the Puget Sound region. She started the Adia Barnes Foundation in 2003, which serves to mentor and provide positive direction to Seattle-area youth. The San Diego native was most recently the Director of Player and Coach Development at Seattle Academy, a private school in the city's Capitol Hill neighborhood.
"I'm really excited to be a part of what Coach McGuff and his staff are building at Washington," Barnes said. "After meeting them and spending time with them, it was just the perfect fit. I've been a part of the Seattle community for 10 years and want to help influence young women's lives both on and off the court."