Dec. 19, 2001
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Jim Barnes, who for the past six yearshas been the head volleyball coach at Lamar University, has been namedWyoming head volleyball coach, Athletics Director Lee Moon announcedTuesday.
Barnes becomes the tenth head volleyball coach in Cowgirl history. Hishiring is subject to University of Wyoming Board of Trustees' approval.He will officially start his coaching duties on Jan. 3, 2002.
"We are very pleased with the hiring of Jim Barnes as our new headvolleyball coach," said Moon. "He has proven that he can build asuccessful program at the Division I level, having won two conferencetitles in six years. I'm not only impressed with his coaching skills,but also his ability to recruit quality student-athletes."
For the past six seasons, Barnes has been the head coach at LamarUniversity (Beaumont, Texas). During that time, he has posted anoverall record of 128-71, which includes a 26-5 mark, a SouthlandConference Championship and Barnes earning Southland Conference Coach ofthe Year honors this past season. Four Lady Cardinals also earnedAll-Conference honors.
Barnes guided LU to 24 victories in 2000, which was the most since1993, and picked up his 100th career coaching win along the way. He alsoled the Lady Cardinals to the finals of the Southland ConferenceTournament, just one victory away from a berth in the NCAA Tournament.In the tournament semifinals that year, Lamar knocked off undefeatedregular-season champion Southwest Texas and ended the nation's longestwinning streak at 23 matches.
In four years in the Southland Conference, he posted 86 wins and earnedinduction into the Tachikara Victory Club. Prior to that Lamar was amember of the Sun Belt Conference.
In 1997 after being picked to finish sixth in the coaches preseasonpoll, Lamar finished with an 8-1 conference regular season record andearned a Sun Belt Co-Championship. The Lady Cards made the finals of theSun Belt Tournament before falling to preseason favorite Arkansas-LittleRock.
Barnes, who in only his second season was named the Sun Belt ConferenceCoach of the Year in 1997, also led the Lady Cardinals to a victory atArkansas State and thus ended the nation's longest conferenceregular-season winning streak at 54 matches.
In his first season at Lamar, he inherited a team that finished 13-22the year before and lost two All- Sun Belt Conference performers. With ateam that started no seniors and two freshmen, they managed to win boththe NSU Tournament and the Stephen F. Austin Invitational, as well asrecording a 20-win season.
"This is an opportunity of a lifetime," said Barnes. "It has alwaysbeen a goal of mine to coach at the highest level, and now I am going toget that opportunity at the University of Wyoming. I know that Wyominghas a great tradition in volleyball through the years, and I'm excitedabout building on that tradition. I want to make the entire state ofWyoming proud of our program."
"While I am excited about going to Wyoming, it is not easy to leaveLamar," he added. "We have built something special here, and I willalways be grateful to the university, the administration, fans andstudent-athletes dedication and support for our program."The Sulphur (La.) native took over the Lamar program after spending sixseasons as an assistant coach at his alma mater McNeese State. Whilethere he was involved in several areas of the program includingscheduling, recruiting, game preparation, travel and other day-to-dayoperations.
In 1993, McNeese posted what was then its best finish in school historyat 25-7 and finished as the Southland Conference runner-up. The 1994squad posted a 22-7 mark and earned MSU's first-ever regional ranking.
Barnes earned his bachelor of science degree in health and humanperformance from McNeese State in 1994 and completed his master's degreein 1996 from MSU as well.
He is married to the former Tracy Pittman and the couple has twodaughters Brooke Aidan (3) and Jenna Grace (10 weeks).