- Competed for the Pandas in field hockey and volleyball
- Bakewell Trophy winner in 1981-82 as the U of A’s Most Outstanding Female Athlete
- Member of Canada’s Field Hockey National Team from 1984-1994, earning 109 caps
- Earned the CIAU Coach of the Year and 3M Elite Category Coach of the Year in 1997
- Inducted into the Alberta Sports Wall of Fame in 1999
Deb (Covey) Barnett was an outstanding two sport athlete while a Panda during the 1980s, excelling in both volleyball and field hockey. A native of Biggar, Saskatchewan, Deb grew up in Jasper and came to the University of Alberta in 1979. She played Panda volleyball from 1980 to 1983, serving as captain in 1982-83, and she was presented with the President’s Cup as the most valuable player on the team in the same season. She received the Bakewell Trophy in 1981-82 as the University’s top female athlete. Deb also played two seasons of outdoor field hockey for the Pandas, from 1983 to 1985. While at U of A, she was also a member of three national championship indoor field hockey teams and was selected to the All-Star teams for those tournaments. At this time, indoor field hockey was not part of the CIAU, but universities from across Canada entered teams in these national tournaments. In addition to her sporting activities, Barnett was a member of the U of A’s Women’s Intercollegiate Committee (WIC) from 1980 to 1984 and she was involved in the administration of the Women’s Intramural Program between 1980 and 1982. She earned two degrees at the University of Alberta: BPE (1983) and MA (1989).
Following the completion of her representative career at U of A, Barnett served as Assistant Coach for Panda field hockey from 1985 to 1991, during which time she also enjoyed an outstanding ten-year career as a member of Canada’s senior national team (1984-1994). She remains one of a small group of women who have played more than 100 representative games for Canada (Barnett earned 109 caps during her playing career). She was a member of national teams at numerous international competitions, including: 1986 Field Hockey World Cup in Amsterdam (bronze medal), 1987 Pan-Am Games in Indianapolis (bronze medal), 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul (6th), 1990 Field Hockey World Cup in Sydney (10th), 1991 Pan-Am Games in Havana (silver medal), 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona (7th) and 1994 Field Hockey World Cup in Dublin (10th).
From 1992 to 1999 Barnett served as the head coach of the University of Calgary field hockey team, and from 1994-1997 she was an assistant coach with the Junior Women’s National Field Hockey Team. In 1997, Barnett received two national coaching awards: the CIAU Marina Van Der Merwe Coach of the Year and the 3M Elite Category Coach of the Year. She also served as Technical Director of the Alberta Field Hockey Association from 1992 to 1999. Deb Barnett was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.
In 2000 Barnett left Canada, and she has since lived in the United States, New Zealand and Australia. She has remained involved in sport, including coaching her two sons in soccer and field hockey. Barnett is currently the head coach of the Newtown City Hockey Club in Geelong, Australia; the club boasts nearly 300 members from ages 3 to 70+, and it captured premierships in Junior U13 competition and Men’s and Women’s Divisions 1 and 2 in 2014.