Boone Announces Men's Basketball Coaching Change

March 3, 2006

OXFORD, Miss. - Athletics Director Pete Boone announced Friday that Ole Miss will be making a head basketball coaching change at the end of the season, which has been communicated to current head coach Rod Barnes. Barnes has served in his present position for the last eight years.

"Rod Barnes has been a very positive and important part of Ole Miss basketball history throughout his playing and coaching career," Boone said. "He has always represented the University with the utmost class and integrity. Because Rod means so much to the Ole Miss family, this was a difficult decision. However, due to our lack of success in the Southeastern Conference, I felt a change needed to be made."

Friday's announcement came with Saturday's regular-season finale at LSU and next week's Southeastern Conference Tournament in Nashville remaining. Ole Miss is 14-14 entering Saturday's game with the Tigers in Baton Rouge, including 4-11 in conference play. It's the fourth straight year for Ole Miss to win no more than five regular-season SEC games.

During his eight years at the helm of the Rebel basketball program, Barnes has risen to second on the Ole Miss career list for coaching victories, four behind B.L. "Country" Graham's school record of 145. The 2001 Naismith and CollegeInsider.com National Coach of the Year, Barnes has a 141-107 record as Rebel head coach and a 50-77 mark in SEC play. His .569 overall winning percentage is the highest by an Ole Miss coach since 1938, and the best of any Rebel mentor of seven-plus years.

In 2000-01, Barnes guided Ole Miss to a school-record 27 wins, the program's first NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 berth and a No. 9 final national ranking. Another winning season and postseason tournament followed in 2001-02 -- both were the fourth under Barnes. That success was followed by three straight losing seasons heading into the 2005-06 campaign.

A 1988 graduate of Ole Miss, Barnes served as an assistant coach under Rob Evans from 1993-98 before being named head coach of the Rebels on April 9, 1998. Barnes played at Ole Miss from 1985-88 and was an honorable mention All-American selection his senior season. He is the only person in SEC history to earn both All-SEC and SEC Coach of the Year honors.

As a player, assistant coach and head coach, Barnes has spent 17 seasons with Ole Miss basketball.

 

 

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