BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Cal St. Bakersfield President Dr. Horace Mitchell along with CSUB Athletic Director Jeff Konya have tabbed former ‘Naismith Coach of the Year’ Rod Barnes as the new head men’s basketball coach for the Roadrunners effective immediately.
Barnes becomes the eighth head coach in program history and just the second to lead the Roadrunners since their successful NCAA Division I transition.
Along with his ‘Naismith Coach of the Year’ honors, Barnes guided Ole Miss (’98-’06) to three NCAA Tournament appearances in his first four seasons, including appearances in the ‘Sweet 16′ (’01), the round of 32 in 1998 and the quarterfinals of the NIT in 1999. Barnes was 141-109 during his eight seasons as head coach of the Rebels, including consecutive 20-win seasons in 1997 and 1998.
“I previously stated that we were going to be a major player in Division I, today we took a giant step in that direction by hiring a former Naismith Coach of the Year and former SEC Coach of the Year that has over 180 Division I wins under his belt and averages a respectable 16 wins per season,” Konya said. “When you combine Coach Barnes’ coaching acumen, athletic accolades, dedication to community service and his success in graduating his student-athletes, this hire is a virtual-windfall for CSUB and all of Bakersfield.”
Barnes comes to Bakersfield off a stint at Georgia State (’07-’11) where in four seasons he added 44 wins to his coaching resume and helped rebuild a basketball program amidst academic, administrative and conference turmoil. During his four-season tenure with the Panthers, Barnes took the program from the bottom of the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate score, to highly-respectable ground, graduating 11 players at last count and raising the team GPA to nearly 3.0 in the Spring semester of 2010.
Barnes had a stellar career as a player at Ole Miss, averaging 19.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 4.0 assists as a senior. He became in the first player in the history of the program to collect 500 points, 100 rebounds and 100 assists in a single season. Barnes is the only person in the storied history of the Southeastern Conference to be named both All-SEC as a player and SEC Coach of the Year.
“Coach Barnes is the man that will get us to our lofty objectives in men’s basketball,” said Konya. “He will have the unique opportunity to draw upon his many coaching experiences at the highest levels of the sport to chart the course in our rebranded Division-I quest, and I look forward to the ride.”