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Michigan inks Kim Barnes Arico to extension through 2025-26

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The most successful coach in Michigan women’s basketball history is sticking around.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Florida Gulf Coast at Michigan Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

The most successful head coach in the history of Michigan women’s basketball is sticking around.

Friday afternoon, the University announced a contract extension for Kim Barnes Arico through the 2025-26 season.

“I am thrilled for people to know that Kim will continue to lead our women’s basketball program well into the future,” athletic director Warde Manuel said via press release. “Kim became our all-time winningest coach in 2018 and has continued to elevate this program both on and off the court.”

While Michigan did not disclose financial terms, the Detroit News reported in March that Barnes Arico made nearly $800,000 last season: an annual payout of over $700,000 (which included $400K in base salary and over $300K in TV, radio, promotional obligations and other compensation) in addition to $70K for qualifying for the NCAA Tournament and making it to the Sweet Sixteen.

The Wolverines’ Sweet Sixteen appearance was their first in program history, the highlight of a 16-6 season in which they took steps into becoming a real contender in the Big Ten and even nationally. Their run consisted of an upset of No. 3 seed Tennessee in the second round before an overtime loss to perennial power Baylor, the No. 2 seed in the region.

In nine seasons as Michigan’s head coach, Barnes Arico has recorded a 193-102 record. Her total wins and .654 winning percentage are both tops all-time for a Michigan women’s basketball coach.

Barnes Arico has led the Wolverines to eight 20-win seasons and likely would have led them to a ninth if not for COVID-19 protocols canceling numerous games last season. In addition, Barnes Arico has guided Michigan to the postseason every year but the COVID-shortened 2019-20 campaign, including four NCAA Tournament appearances and a WNIT championship in 2017.

Expectations will be high for the Wolverines next season, as they return Big Ten Player of the Year and First Team All-American forward Naz Hillmon as well as All-Big Ten wing Leigha Brown and three-year starting point guard Amy Dilk.

And with Barnes Arico’s new extension, those expectations may not get any lower in seasons to come.

“I am so grateful to continue our work at the greatest University in the world,” Barnes Arico said in a release. “The culture we have developed in our program matches what this university and community stand for. That really showed this past season, with our team's success and excellence both on and off the court. I am so proud of the young women we have in our program and look forward to what’s next.”