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Lynsey Barnard’s unexpected journey to being the new head coach at City High

Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 6:51 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - “It was an absolute accident that has just turned into one of the coolest adventures of my life.”

That was Lynsey Barnard’s sentiment when thinking back on her last eight years in Iowa City, seven at City High.

Before she was named the next City High girls basketball coach, Barnard wanted to be a teacher. She figured that out after her playing days at Monmouth College were over and worked with kids at a sports camp in Dubuque.

“Once you know, you know,” Barnard said. “I thought ‘this is my thing this is the thing for me.’”

Her journey started in Dubuque, but it took an unexpected turn when she was visiting a friend going to school in Iowa City. While there, she took a look at some job postings.

Turned out, Regina was looking for a new physics teacher just days before school started. Barnard was up for the challenge.

“(I) slept on the couch with some friends who were in dental school,” Barnard said. “Slept in my apartment for the weekend, came back stayed in somebody’s bedroom, finally found a place.”

After a year at Regina, Barnard continued teaching science at City High, coaching some girls basketball. She didn’t think much about one day replacing Bill McTaggart. She just wanted to make a difference

“The goal is to have an impact on as many people as I can on a high-level. Being a teacher and being a coach afford you the same opportunity,” she said. “Coaching is teaching. Teaching is coaching.”

After seven years of teaching and coaching, bouncing around varsity and JV, she said she was humbled to get the call.

“It definitely means a little bit more it feels like I’m staying home,” Barnard said. “I’ve always been humbled to be part of City High girls basketball in any capacity, and to now lead it, there’s not enough synonyms that I can come up with.”

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