Jim Barnes named head coach of Iowa volleyball

Barnes will take over from former head coach Vicki Brown, who Iowa Athletics dismissed without cause Nov. 4.


Shivansh Ahuja

The main floor is seen during Xtream Arena’s opening media tour in Coralville on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020.

Chris Werner, Sports Reporter

Iowa Athletics named Jim Barnes head coach of the University of Iowa Volleyball team Tuesday.

Barnes has 24 years of head coaching experience and has amassed a 455-345 career record. Barnes has guided his teams to 20 or more wins in a season on nine occasions.

Barnes coached at Tulane from 2016-21. He posted one losing season as head coach of the Green Wave.

Barnes’ team racked up 29 wins in 2018.

In 2016, Tulane won 18 matches and showed the biggest improvement throughout the season of any NCAA school. The Green Wave began the season with a 247 ranking percentage index score and finished at 90. 

“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,” former Tulane student-athlete Sarah Strasner said in a release. “… 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.”

Before heading to Tulane, Barnes coached at Baylor from 2004-15, where he accounted for a school-record 181 wins. 

Under his direction, the Bears advanced to two NCAA tournaments and made it to the Sweet 16 in 2009. Barnes coached the first All-American and National Player of the Year in Baylor history. 

Barnes was also the head coach at Wyoming from 2002-04, where, in his first season, he led the program to its first 20-win season.

“Jim Barnes has laid the foundation for volleyball programs at Baylor and Tulane and he will do great work for Iowa,” said two-time National Coach of the Year Terry Pettit in a release. “His work ethic is exceeded only by his character.”

Iowa athletic director Gary Barta said Barnes’ impressive resume and philosophy made him a good fit for the Hawkeyes. 

“I am very excited to have Coach Barnes joining our team,” Barta said in a release. “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 set us up for long-term success.”

Barnes said he was impressed by Iowa’s willingness to make its volleyball program one of the best in the country and said he will create a program that Iowans can be proud of.

“The commitment expressed to me by Gary Barta, [deputy director of athletics] Barbara Burke, and [compliance and sport performance director] Lyla Clerry to make Iowa volleyball a national contender was extremely impressive,” Barnes said via release. “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.”

Barnes replaces Vicki Brown, who held the head coach position from Sept. 26, 2019, to Nov. 4, 2021. Brown was dismissed by Iowa Athletics without cause.

Bond Shymansky, Iowa volleyball’s head coach before Brown, was terminated for committing NCAA rules infractions.

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