WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - With new basketball coaches Karen Barefoot and C.B. McGrath at the helm, it's full steam ahead for UNCW basketball fans.
Seahawk fans and supporters gathered on the Battleship North Carolina Tuesday for the Seahawk Club's first-ever Coaches Caravan. The Seahawk faithfuls have high hopes for both coaches.
"I don't know if it's pressure," UNCW fan Michael Barnes said. "I think, talking to each coach, they have a passion for the kids and the program. They are very optimistic for what the future holds. I think a lot of the faithful are very optimistic for both programs."
At the end of last season, the teams were headed in different directions. The men's team was coming off consecutive trips to the NCAA tournament. The women won just 11 games.
According to men's coach C.B. McGrath, that doesn't mean either team has less work to do.
"It is a situation and she has a lot of work to do," McGrath said of Barefoot. "I have a lot of work to do to. There is the expectation to win and that just doesn't happen. I can't just snap my fingers and expect it to be done. So we both have a lot of work to do."
Barefoot is soaking up the support from fans, which was part of the reason she took the job in Wilmington.
"Because I feel like we are one big family and we support everyone," Barefoot said. "We are all cheering on each other and I love that, and that is one of the reasons why I wanted to be here."
Both coaches have the support of their boss, UNCW Athletic Director Jimmy Bass.
"I think they both have challenges ahead of them," Bass said. "I believe in all my heart in two years that both these programs will be on the top of the (Colonial Athletic Association) together."