New women’s basketball assistant coach Ashley Barlow ended up at the University of Evansville almost by accident.
Barlow saw something on Twitter about the opening and was curious, so she texted FahKara Malone — a current assistant and one of her AAU teammates in high school — about it.
“I thought she filled the opening,” Barlow said of Malone’s promotion earlier this summer. “She texted me and was like, ‘Nicki (Motto), she left, but would you want me to throw your name out there?’ And I was like, ‘yeah whatever.’”
Barlow didn’t really think much of it and Malone told her not to worry.
But days later, head coach Oties Epps wanted her resume and cover letter. Thirty minutes after she sent her materials, Barlow had an interview scheduled.
“I got interviewed on a Thursday, accepted on a Monday,” Barlow said. “Wednesday I was down here looking at apartments, and then Monday — not the next Monday, but a full week (later) — I was down here starting.”
It was a quick turnaround, but for a program that brought in two new staff members — Malone and Director of Operations Doug Rogers — Barlow’s hire put the final piece in place.
“It’s been a great change for us,” Epps said. “One of the things we wanted to do with the change is bring in more young energy. I think that what we’re trying to do with our program, we need people that are really passionate and want to invest a lot of energy and effort into developing our kids and recruiting and long nights. I think we have that.
“Ashley, she fits right in — good personality, worker, wants to be around the girls, so it’s been good.”
Barlow feels the same about the Aces’ staff. She was particularly excited about reuniting with Malone and believes the staff is putting the program on the track to success.
And the Indianapolis native has an impressive skillset she brings to the staff. In addition to two years as an assistant at IUPUI, Barlow was a standout at Notre Dame, becoming the first Fighting Irish basketball player to eclipse 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 250 assists and 250 steals in a career. She also played professionally overseas for a year in Israel.
Barlow officially met the entire team during Tuesday’s team meeting, and though almost half the squad is freshmen, Barlow still feels like the newest member.
“It was exciting,” she said. “Everybody seemed like they were excited to get started again. Everybody, actually, has worked out because of the new rule this summer, so I guess I’m the newbie.”