IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa Athletics Department announced on Tuesday the hiring of Jim Barnes as the new head coach of the Hawkeye volleyball program. Barnes is the 11th head coach of the program.
In his 24 years as a head coach, Barnes has amassed a career record of 455-345 (.569), and nine 20-plus win seasons. He has put together six top-20 recruiting classes and made four appearances in postseason tournaments, including a program first NCAA Sweet 16 run.
Barnes arrives in Iowa City after spending six seasons (2016-21) at the helm of the Tulane volleyball program. While at Tulane, Barnes led the program to back-to-back National Invitational Volleyball Championship appearances including making it to the finals in 2018, during a 29-win season.
“I am very excited to have Coach Barnes joining our team. He has three decades of experience, proven success at the highest collegiate volleyball level and shares our Win, Graduate, Do It Right values. His leadership, knowledge of the game, and respect nationwide sets us up for long-term success.”Gary Barta - Henry B. and Patricia B. Tippie Director of Athletics Chair
In his first season at Tulane, the Green Wave won 18 matches and was the most improved in the NCAA starting the season with an RPI of 247 and finishing at 90.
Barnes understands the importance of academic achievement and under his leadership Tulane volleyball earned a cumulative GPA of 3.49 for the 2019-20 academic year and a 3.362 GPA in 2017. Barnes had 14 members of the team named to the AAC All-Academic Team.
“As a player, Coach Barnes came in my senior year and completely changed the culture of our program and how I saw my future with volleyball,” said former Tulane student-athlete Sarah Strasner. “I probably would not be coaching if it was not for Jim Barnes. He changes the way you play, and coach, by how he loves and serves the people around him. I have no doubt he will impact Iowa’s volleyball program and more people’s lives the way he did mine.”
“The commitment expressed to me by Gary Barta, Barbara Burke, and Lyla Clerry to make Iowa Volleyball a national contender was extremely impressive, I would like to thank them and my family for this opportunity. Our coaches and players will be ALL IN and make Hawkeye nation very proud of our volleyball program. I can’t wait to get to work.”Jim Barnes - Head Coach
Before Tulane, Barnes spent 11 seasons as the head coach at Baylor (2004-15), where he became the program’s all-time win leader with 181 victories. Barnes’ tenure in Waco, Texas, included two 20-win seasons, and two NCAA Tournament appearances, including an appearance in the Sweet 16 in 2009.
Barnes produced the first five All-Americans and recruited the first NCAA Player of the Year in Baylor history.
Prior to coaching at Baylor, Barnes spent two seasons at Wyoming. While in Laramie, Wyoming, Barnes turned the program around as the Cowgirls went 20-11 in his first year, posting Wyoming’s first 20-win campaign in 11 years.
Barnes was the head coach at Lamar from 1996-2001, going 128-71 overall. He earned Southland Conference Coach of the Year honors in 1997 and 2001, and won two conference championships.
Barnes got his coaching start at his alma mater of McNeese State, where he spent six years as an assistant coach.
“Jim Barnes has laid the foundation for volleyball programs at Baylor and Tulane and he will do great work for Iowa. His work ethic is exceeded only by his character.”Terry Pettit - Two-Time National Coach of the Year (Nebraska)
The Lake Charles, Louisiana, native earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from McNeese State in 1994 and 1996, respectively.
Barnes is married to the former Tracy Pittman, and they have two daughters, Brooke Aidan and Jenna Grace.