“As a coach, this is a dream.” Iowa volleyball introduces new head coach Jim Barnes

This is his first time in the Big Ten.
Published: Jan. 4, 2022 at 10:35 PM CST
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - We’ve heard it before: “The Iowa volleyball team is rebuilding.” Jim Barnes is next in line to try to turn around a struggling program.

“As a coach, this is a dream.”

Not many would think it’s a dream to take over a program with one winning season in the last two decades. But Barnes said it’s a dream to turn it around.

“It’s about getting this team right first, step by step, and it’s focusing on this year. Everyone wants to talk about the future and I want the future to be really good for this program, but I want to win this year,” Barnes said. “I want to get it right for these players that are here now.”

Barnes has a strong track record, turning around teams at Wyoming, Baylor and Tulane.

“His leadership style, his years of experience his proven success, there were so many factors that were taken into consideration,” said Senior Associate Athletic Director Lyla Clerry, who helped lead the search committee. “He was clearly a standout.”

Barnes is still the all-time wins leader at Baylor, where he coached from 2004-2015. He took the Bears to two NCAA tournaments.

He most recently coached at Tulane, where he amassed a 111-77 record.

“We were transparent in the fact that we haven’t been able to get traction yet,” said Iowa athletic director Gary Barta. “When we got to coach Barnes, he has so much experience, he’s built programs in the past, Wyoming and Baylor and Tulane.”

This is his first time in the Big Ten and his first time coaching in the state of Iowa.

“Volleyball is on fire in this region, there’s great players all throughout this state, and we’re gonna fight to make sure we keep as many of them as we can within this program.”

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