Adia Barnes was introduced as Arizona's head women's basketball coach on April 4, 2016. The leading scorer in Arizona women’s basketball history and a WNBA Champion, Barnes came to Tucson after serving as an assistant coach at the University of Washington for five seasons.

During her third season, Barnes led the Wildcats on a historic run to a WNIT title. Arizona finished the season with 24 wins, the most since the 2003-04 season to complete the largest turnaround in school history as well as the largest turnaround of any school in the 2018-19 season.