"I am most happy to welcome Matt to the Gator family," Guthrie said. "I have watched his good work from afar and have been impressed with not only his success in regards to competition but also how he has managed his program. I believe he is a great fit and I am excited for the future of our Gator men's soccer program."
Last season Barnes turned around the men's soccer program at Lubbock Christian as he guided the Chaparrals to an 11-5-1 record, including an 8-1 mark in the program's inaugural year as a member of the Heartland Conference. In 2013, the Chaparrals finished in first place in the conference, while recording the fewest yellow cards in conference. This past season, the Chaparrals defeated three nationally ranked teams, while receiving the program's first regional ranking.
"I'm absolutely thrilled to be joining the athletic department at SF State," Barnes said. "After extensive discussions with new SF State director of athletics Charles Guthrie and vice president Robert Nava, I'm convinced that the university is headed in the right direction with its renewed commitment to the student-athlete's experience at SF State.
"The men's soccer program, specifically can expect to be challenged on a daily basis, and will ultimately be looking to chase down the competitive and talented CCAA landscape."
While at Lubbock Christian, Barnes also served as a head coach for the Sockers FC, a member of the USL Premier Development League. There he managed and directed all soccer operations of a USL PDL franchise, including player evaluation/identification and amateur contract offers, while running and operating all summer camps. The 28-player roster was primarily composed of NCAA DI and DII athletes. This past summer, the Sockers FC finished the regular season with a 7-4-3 record and scored 26 goals and allowed 19. Their goal differential of +7 is the best all time in the team's history.
Barnes came to Lubbock Christian from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, where he served as the head coach. In two seasons at the helm of the Eagles, Barnes had a coaching record of 23-11-6. He took over the Eagles in 2011 and helped lead them to a 9-8-3 record and to their first postseason win in program history. In 2012, the Eagles went 14-3-3 and finished the regular season ranked No.16 in the NAIA (finished No. 21 in the final postseason poll). They claimed the California Pacific Conference and earned a trip to the NAIA national championship, where they fell in the opening round to No. 13 Concordia. The CalPac honored Barnes with the conference's Coach of the Year accolade. Embry-Riddle ranked 11th in total goals in 2012 (69), with a per game average of 3.5, ranking ninth in the NAIA.
Barnes has been successful at every level possible in his coaching career of nearly 20 years. Barnes also coached at the high school level in California, where his teams claimed three CIF championships and three CIF Coach of the Year honors. At the collegiate level, he served on the staff at Cal State Bakersfield, and was an integral part of their 1997 NCAA national championship and California Collegiate Athletic Association conference championship.
A 1994 graduate of Judson University, Barnes was part of two NCCAA national championship squads (1991, '92); he was named NCCAA All-American, NAIA All-Region, and twice named NIIC All-Conference. Barnes was strong in the classroom too, claiming academic honors in the NCCAA and the NAIA, including Academic All-American honors. He holds the NAIA single-game record for points (20) and has the second-highest NAIA single-game total for goals with eight in a game. He was voted Judson University Student-Athlete of the Year, and in 2009 he was inducted into the Judson University Hall of Fame. Following his collegiate career, Barnes played professionally for the Rockford Raptors of the USISL for a season before hanging up his boots to begin coaching.
Barnes has as bachelor's in physical education and general science from Judson and a master's in special education from National University.