Entering his ninth season as the head coach at Baylor, Jim Barnes has taken the program to new heights, compiling a school-record .527 winning percentage and the most wins of any head coach in program history. Hired on Dec. 3, 2003, the former Lamar and Wyoming head coach has helped Baylor return to the NCAA tournament twice and establish itself in the national rankings.
During his first eight seasons, Barnes has compiled a record of 135-121. More impressively, he's led Baylor to the two NCAA Tournaments including the 2009 NCAA Sweet 16, its highest ranking in program history and coached the first two All-Americans in program history. Steadily improving over the course of his tenure, Barnes' squad has improved both on and off the court, totaling eight all-conference and 34 academic all-conference honors. In the last four seasons alone, Baylor has collected a 76-53 (.589) record, compared to a 59-68 (.465) record in the previous four seasons.
In his 17 seasons as a Division I head coach, Barnes has gathered 298 wins, including six 20-win seasons. He led the Bears to 24 wins in 2009, the fourth-most in school history and most in a single season since 1999. The win total was the middle of three straight winning seasons for the first time since 1999-01.
Barnes and the Bears continued their winning ways in 2011, qualifying for the program's fourth ever NCAA Championship and second in last three years. The 18-15 mark was the fourth-straight winning season, a new program best. Additionally, Barnes became Baylor's winningest coach, capturing his 130th victory on Oct. 5 against Texas Tech. In the classroom, BU tied the program mark with six Academic All-Big 12 members.
In what has become a staple of Barnes-coached teams, the defense shined during the 2010 season. Led by libero Caitlyn Trice's school-record 6.23 digs per set, Baylor's back row led the Big 12 and ranked third in the NCAA with 18.91 digs per set. Sweeping Texas A&M for the first time in the history of the 32-year-old rivalry helped Baylor to a 16-15 record, narrowly missing a berth to the NCAA Tournament. Elizabeth Graham earned all-conference honors and helped lead Baylor to the Courtyard by Marriott/UCF Classic title early in the season.
In 2009, Barnes' squad achieved previously unreachable milestones, including a trip to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament, the first All-Americans in program history, and the defeat of the two highest-ranked opponents ever at Baylor. After earning an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament, Barnes' crew took down Georgia Tech, then stunned eighth-seeded UCLA on its home floor to advance to the Sweet 16. Setter Taylor Barnes and middle blocker Anna Breyfogle became both Barnes' and Baylor's first All-Americans. Along the way, the Bears, who reached a program-high ranking of No. 17, took down 11th-ranked Iowa State, along with ninth-ranked UCLA to earn the two best wins in program history.
Breyfogle and Taylor Barnes, under Jim Barnes' guidance, piled up the postseason awards. The duo became the first pair to earn back-to-back all-conference and all-region awards, while Breyfogle became the first player in program history to earn a conference MVP honor. Breyfogle was named the Big 12's Defensive Player of the Year after leading the league in blocking by an astounding margin for the second consecutive season.
Barnes' 2008 team finished 18-13 overall, placing sixth in the Big 12 with a 9-11 record. Baylor's 18 regular season wins tied the most since 1999, while the Bears' nine Big 12 victories also tied for the most since 1999. Barnes' squad began the year with a then-school record eight-straight wins to open a season, then broke another school record, winning their first three Big 12 matches. After suffering injury setbacks during the second half of the season, the Bears narrowly missed an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.
Barnes' crew was led by Breyfogle, who led the Big 12 in blocks per set, and Taylor Barnes, who led the conference in service aces per game. Each earned first-team all-Big 12 honors, as well as honorable mention All-South Central Region recognition.
In the offseason, Barnes signed the second-highest rated recruit in program history with the no. 30 overall player, part of the 14th-ranked class in the nationin 2009 according to Prepvolleyball.com.
Baylor's 2007 squad finished with an overall record of 14-17, finishing eighth overall in the Big 12. The Bears were on the cusp of a winning season, with a 14-11 record late in the year, but suffered six straight losses, including a program record four-straight losses in five-games.
The Bears continued their solid defensive play, ranking near the top of the Big 12 in digs and blocks, a point of focus for Barnes' squads. The Bears ranked 37th in the nation and fourth in the conference in blocks per game, and Baylor tallied 16.48 digs per game, its highest season total in six years.
The 2006 Bears went 18-15, producing a winning record for the first time in Barnes' tenure with the program. The Bears were ranked as high as 30th in the nation, and set a school record with a 12-1 nonconference record. Again, Baylor improved its record by three wins, a trend that Barnes set during his first two seasons in Waco. While Baylor's conference record was 6-14, the same as 2005, the Big 12 featured five teams ranked in the final CSTV/AVCA Top 25, and sent six teams to the NCAA Tournament.
For the third straight year, Baylor improved defensively, a point of emphasis for Barnes and his staff. The Bears finished the season averaging more blocks and digs per game than the previous season for the third time under Barnes. The 2006 Bears continued their dominance at the net, ranking 24th nationally and fourth in the Big 12 with 3.11 blocks per game. The Bears also ranked seventh in the league with 15.62 digs per game, their highest ranking in that category since 2001 when they made the NCAA Tournament. The Bears knocked off two ranked opponents and recorded a 3-0 win over Kansas in Waco, Baylor's first three-game sweep in Big 12 play since 2002. The Bears almost knocked off a third ranked opponent, pushing Texas to five games in Austin, also a program first.
During the 2005 season, the Bears improved upon their record from the previous year in their second season under Barnes. Baylor went 15-17 overall, a three-win improvement, and 6-14 in Big 12 Conference play, two more league wins than 2004. The Bears ranked 19th nationally and third in the Big 12 with 3.05 blocks per game. The Bears also ranked fifth in the league with 14.53 digs per game. Baylor's signature victory was a four-game win over NCAA Tournament participant Texas A&M in College Station, the Bears' first victory at G. Rollie White Coliseum since 1992.
The 2004 Bears ranked 17th nationally with 3.05 blocks per game and outblocked nearly every opponent they faced - 25 of 31 matches to be exact, including their home match against the nation's top blocking team, Nebraska.
In his first season at Baylor, Barnes led the Bears to a 12-19 record, 4-16 in Big 12 Conference play. The Bears won five straight matches to claim the Sam Houston State Tournament title and recorded an upset victory over No. 24 Kansas at home. Desiree Guilliard-Young continued to emerge as a dominant force and earned honorable mention All-Big 12 honors and was also named the Sam Houston State Tournament's most valuable player.
Introduced as the 10th head coach in Wyoming volleyball history on Dec. 19, 2001, Barnes took over a program that posted a 9-15 record in the season prior to his arrival and promptly produced the school's first 20-win season since 1989 with a 20-11 mark. Only the third Wyoming coach, and the first since 1983, to win 20 matches in his debut season at the Laramie, Wyo., school, Barnes' 2002 team fashioned an 11-match win streak and won in-season tournament titles at host schools Auburn, Central Michigan, Cornell and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
Barnes' second Wyoming team raced to a 13-6 start, highlighted by a pair of victories over Baylor and a championship at the Wyoming Cowgirl Classic. However, his team lost three key players to injuries down the stretch and finished 15-16 overall, giving him a two-year UW mark of 35-27 (.565). Of the program's 10 coaches, only two won more games in their first two seasons at the Cowgirl helm than Barnes.
The Wyoming program had one student-athlete earn first-team All-Mountain West Conference honors each season Barnes was on the bench and his 2002 squad had five players earn Academic All-Conference recognition. All totaled, 18 players earned academic all-conference honors in Barnes' last three seasons.
Before moving to Wyoming, Barnes spent six seasons as head coach at Lamar University, where his teams posted an overall record of 128-71 (.643). He earned 2001 Southland Conference Coach of the Year honors after leading his final Lady Cardinal squad, which featured four all-conference performers, to a 26-5 record and the Southland Conference regular-season title with an 18-2 record.
Barnes guided LU to 24 victories in 2000, the program's most since 1993, and picked up his 100th career coaching win along the way. He also led the Lady Cardinals to the finals of the Southland Conference Tournament, just one victory away from a berth in the NCAA Tournament. In the tournament semifinals that year, Lamar knocked off undefeated regular-season champion Southwest Texas and ended the nation's longest winning streak at 23 matches.
In four seasons (1998-2000) of play in the Southland Conference, his Lamar teams posted 86 victories and he was inducted into the Tachikara Victory Club. Prior to that, Lamar was a member of the Sun Belt Conference.
Picked to finish sixth in the 1997 Sun Belt Conference preseason coaches poll, Barnes directed the Lady Cards to a share of the conference title with an 8-1 record and was rewarded with Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year honors. His squad, which ended Arkansas State's nation-leading 54-match regular-season win streak, advanced to the Sun Belt Tournament finals before falling to preseason title favorite Arkansas-Little Rock and ending the year with a 22-15 record.
In his first season at Lamar, he inherited a team that finished 13-22 the previous year and lost two All-Sun Belt Conference performers. With a team that started no seniors and two freshmen, the Lady Cardinals won the Nicholls State Tournament and the Stephen F. Austin Invitational en route to a 20-13 final mark.
The Sulphur, La., native took over the Lamar program after spending six seasons as an assistant coach at his alma mater, McNeese State. In 1993, McNeese posted what was then its best finish in school history at 25-7 and finished as the Southland Conference runner-up. The 1994 squad posted a 22-7 mark and earned McNeese State's first-ever regional ranking.
Barnes earned his bachelor's degree in health and human performance from McNeese State in 1994 and completed his master's degree from the school in 1996. He is married to the former Tracy Pittman, and they have two daughters, Brooke Aidan and Jenna Grace.