After helping lead Green Bay to its fourteenth Horizon League crown in the last fifteen years last season, John Barnes is now a Penguin, officially introduced as the new head women’s basketball coach at Youngstown State. His resume is an impressive one. He’s won 73 percent of the games he coached in having made previous stops in the Big Ten at Michigan and Wisconsin, as a Division two head coach at Michigan Tech, and most recently with the Phoenix.
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“I know what it takes to win the conference, win the Horizon League, move on to the next level,” Barnes said. “Those experiences are gonna help me every day in practice to hopefully bring the program to that level.”
The Penguins aren’t far off, having racked up 23 wins and a trip to the WNIT, after finishing last season in second place, just behind Green Bay, in the Horizon League standings.
“My first thought was ‘oh my gosh, we have the secrets to beat Green Bay’, and how exciting would that be to beat them my senior year,” junior Monica Touvelle said.
Fellow junior Liz Hornberger is equally encouraged by the hire.
“We have everything Coach (Bob) Boldon gave us,” she said. “Now we have Coach Barnes who brings so much more to the table. So that makes us I think twice as better because he has so much other things that maybe Coach Boldon didn’t know or didn’t decide to teach.”
“I kinda pride my teams on being tough mentally and physically and working hard. Those are the things I want to bring to the program. Not that they aren’t already there, but hopefully bring it to the next level,” added Barnes.
It’s a level which will allow him to, once again, cut down the nets. Overall, he has been to the postseason in twelve of his seventeen seasons as a college coach.
“We’d love to be the team that wins that conference title, whether it be over Green Bay or whoever. We want to put ourselves at the top against whoever it might be,” said Barnes.