WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - After a months-long absence, UNCW women’s basketball head coach Karen Barefoot is now back on the sidelines for the Seahawks.
A spokesperson for the university’s athletic communications department confirmed that Barefoot was at Tuesday’s workout, but a source told WECT that she returned to practice on Monday.
The university official also said that interim head coach Tina Martin would resume her role as assistant coach but declined any future comment on the situation.
When reached for comment Wednesday afternoon, Barefoot said of her return to the program: “It feels great to be back and looking forward to bringing that teal collar work ethic and working together with everyone.”
Barefoot’s status as the Seahawks head coach had been murky after Martin was quietly named interim coach on Aug. 24. The first public acknowledgement of Martin as interim coach came during UNCW’s press invite for its annual media event held on Oct. 22. Barefoot was not present for the event.
At the time, university officials said the matter was a “personnel issue” and declined to comment further.
During Barefoot’s unexplained hiatus, the university maintained that she was still the head coach of the women’s basketball program.
The women’s team began the season with a win and loss under Martin and will play at South Carolina State on Monday.