WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Two teams have two new head coaches at UNCW, and on Monday, those coaches met the community at the annual UNCW Basketball Tip-Off Luncheon at Buffalo Wild Wings on Old Eastwood Road.
C.B. McGrath, the men's coach, and Karen Barefoot, the women's coach, said they've been overwhelmed by the support from the community.
McGrath spent the past 14 years as an assistant at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. He said the support for basketball in Wilmington is just as strong.
"I started speaking with people in April and there was great support and there's still great support so I've been awfully excited about it," McGrath said. "Obviously, basketball is very important around here and people really get behind it. That's obviously great for our guys and our student-athletes."
Barefoot comes from Old Dominion, where she led the Lady Monarchs to five winning seasons and three postseason appearances. She was hired in May after Adell Harris left the program to pursue other interests.
Fans of both teams also got to hear the coaches' predictions for their seasons at the luncheon.
Barefoot and McGrath said these events aren't just important for the community, but for the team too.
"It just shows the community and the love and support they have for UNCW," Barefoot said. "It's absolutely an amazing event. Without these kinds of events, we're not able to do what we do out there and compete at the highest level, so I am so blown away by the support and I love it."
"Events like this, where there is excitement, it makes everybody feel good," McGrath said. "Obviously, we want to feel support because we're working hard to try to keep the support going, and the kind words and people looking forward to the season, it gets us excited to start doing what we do."