HUNTINGTON — Marshall University’s women’s basketball team finally landed Lexie Barrier.
The Thundering Herd hired the former Ironton High School star guard as an assistant coach on Thursday. Marshall recruited the Fighting Tigers all-time leading scorer as a player, but she opted for James Madison University, where she played in 127 games, starting 96, and scored 1,216 points before graduating in 2020. For her college career, she averaged 9.6 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists. Barrier was a two-time All-Colonial Athletic Association honoree and a member of the league’s all-rookie team during the 2016-17 season.
“I’m stoked,” Barrier said. “I just feel extremely blessed to be not only starting my career, but to be starting it back home. I can’t wait to get with the staff and our players and get to work. Coach (Tony) Kemper has provided me an amazing opportunity and I can’t wait to get to work. I’m looking forward to becoming a part of the Herd family and being the best we can be.”
Barrier served as a graduate manager for North Carolina State last season, helping the Wolfpack to a 22-3 record and No. 7 national ranking.
“Lexie brings championship experience to our program, both as a player and coach,” Kemper said. “Her ties to the Tri-State area run deep and will serve her well in recruiting this region. Our fans and players will quickly recognize her enthusiasm for our sport and Marshall. I know she is really excited to get home and get to work for our student-athletes and recruits.”
At Ironton, Barrier was selected the Associated Press Southeast Ohio district player of the year and the 2016 All-Ohio Division III Co-Player of the Year. She was a two-time all-state selection and led the Tigers to the state Final Four as a senior.
Ironton coach Doug Graham said he is thrilled Barrier will coach less than 30 minutes from her home.
“It’s been a dream of hers to coach college basketball,” Graham said. “To be home is special because family means a lot to her. She and her mom are super tight an she’s close to her younger siblings.”
Graham said Barrier will make an outstanding coach.
“Lexie will do a great job,” Graham said. “She’s an excellent role model for those young ladies. She’s very bright and has a high, high basketball IQ. She got along with everybody and was a great teammate who worked hard and put in the time.”