July 6, 1998
LARAMIE, Wyo. - University of Wyoming head basketball coach Steve McClain announced on Monday the hiring of Tony Barbee as an assistant basketball coach at the University of Wyoming. Barbee has been an assistant coach to Bruiser Flint at the University of Massachusetts, his alma mater, the past two seasons. Barbeeis hiring is subject to University of Wyoming Board of Trustee approval.
Barbee concluded his playing career at UMass in the 1992-93 season as the schoolis fourth all-time leading scorer with 1,643 career points. While at UMass he played for John Calipari, who is currently the head coach and executive vice president for basketball operations with the New Jersey Nets of the NBA. Barbee appeared in two NCAA Tournaments and two National Invitation Tournaments during his four-year career.
"Tony (Barbee) is a young coach who has had a great background in Division I basketball," said McClain. "He played under John Calipari at UMass, and has worked as an assistant to Bruiser Flint. Heis one of the bright young coaches in the country, and has a great basketball mind. On top of that, I feel he has the traits to go out and be a great recruiter. We are very excited to have Tony here with us at Wyoming."
"Iim very excited to be joining the Wyoming Basketball program," said Barbee. "Iive been involved in many different areas of basketball as a player and a coach, but the one area that I havenit yet been involved in is recruiting. Recruiting is what every coach lives to do -- to be involved in evaluating talent and attracting quality young men to your university.
"Although Iive been at UMass throughout my playing career and my first couple years in the coaching profession, Iim thrilled about coming to Wyoming," added Barbee. "The facilities are unbelievable, the campus is beautiful and the people are as friendly as Iive ever seen, so Iim excited to get to work."
His junior season at UMass the Minutemen won the Atlantic 10 Conference Championship with a 30-5 record. That 1991-92 squad advanced to the Sweet 16 of the 1992 NCAA Tournament before losing to Kentucky in the East Regional Semifinal. His senior year of 1992-93, Barbee led UMass to a second consecutive Atlantic 10 title and the NCAA Second Round before falling to Virginia. His sophomore season of 1990-91, the Minutemen advanced to the NIT Final Four in Madison Square Garden in New York.
"Tony was outstanding as both a player and coach at UMass," said current Minutemen head coach Bruiser Flint. "He is highly respected by the kids in our program. He is an excellent teacher and extremely hard worker. Coach McClain has a great young coach in Tony. He is a young man who will do an excellent job for the Wyoming program."
A 6-6, 215-pound forward when he played, Barbee was one of only four UMass alums to average double figures each of his four seasons in college. He still ranks in the Top 10 in 13 different UMass statistical categories, including assists, steals, blocked shots and three-point field goal percentage. For his career, he played in 126 games and averaged 13.0 points and 4.9 rebounds per game.
Prior to entering the coaching profession, Barbee played professionally in Europe. He was a member of the Cornella squad in Barcelona, Spain,for the 1993-94 season, and played for La Rochelle in France in 1994-95. Barbee served as color commentator on the UMass Radio Network during the Minutemenis 1995-96 Final Four season, in addition to holding a graduate assistant position in academic advising. Originally from Indianapolis, Ind., where he attended North Central High School, Barbee is 26 (Aug. 10, 1971) and single.
Barbee replaces Vince Taylor on McClain's staff. Taylor recently accepted an assistant coaching position at Louisville.