Barbara Schaaf was a basketball star in high school, leading Chicago Christian HS in Palos Heights to the Illinois Class A state championship in 1981. She later became a two-time All-American basketball player and softball player at Trinity Christian College. She started at Northwestern College in Iowa where she also played both softball and basketball.
After the 1992 Olympics, Schaaf joined the family business, the Schaaf Window Company of Tinley Park, Illinois. She also coached high school softball in the Chicago area. Schaaf was later diagnosed with multiple sclerosis but persevered despite the disease. In 2007 she was named to the Trinity Christian College inaugural Hall of Fame Class. She was inducted alongside her brother, Bob Schaaf, who played minor league baseball in the LA Dodgers organization.