Rod Barnes Signs Four-Year Contract To Coach Ole Miss Basketball
April 4, 2001
OXFORD, Miss. - Ole Miss Head Basketball Coach Rod Barnes ended any speculation about his coaching future Wednesday by signing a new four-year agreement with his alma mater, it was announced by Athletic Director John Shafer.
"In three short years, Rod Barnes has taken our men's basketball program to a higher level," Shafer said. "Coach Barnes and his family have made a major commitment to this University and the State of Mississippi.
"We felt it was the appropriate time to extend his contract back to the maximum four years allowed by the State of Mississippi." The new contract now runs through the 2004-05 basketball season.
According to Shafer, the new contract includes an increase in Barnes' compensation package, plus additional incentives for academic and athletic success.
"In addition, the University has also made a commitment to upgrade basketball facilities, staff, and support services," Shafer said. "We are proud to have Coach Barnes at Ole Miss and we hope he will be here for his entire coaching career."
Barnes said he was pleased with his new contract and the support he has received from the University of Mississippi, its alumni, and fans.
"I thank God for this opportunity," Barnes said. "Also, I would like to thank Ole Miss for affording me the privilege to continue as its basketball coach. I look forward to the challenges and opportunities as we prepare to compete on a national level.
"Good things are happening at Ole Miss, and I am excited about the future of our program."
Barnes was selected as the 2001 Naismith National Men's Coach of the Year and will be in Atlanta this Saturday to receive the award from the Atlanta Tipoff Club.
He was also named 2001 National Coach of the Year by CollegeInsider.com, while being selected Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year by the league's coaches, The Associated Press, ESPN.com, and CollegeInsider.com.
This season, Barnes guided the Rebels to a 27-8 overall record, including an 11-5 SEC mark and the SEC Western Division crown. The SEC West title was Ole Miss' third in the last five years. The 27 victories were the most in the SEC this year and tied for fifth most among NCAA Division I schools.
Ole Miss, which finished ranked No. 9 in the final ESPN/USA Today Top 25 poll and No. 14 in the Associated Press (AP) Top 25 poll, advanced to its first-ever NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 appearance, where the Rebels lost to eventual runner-up Arizona, 66-56, in the Midwest Regional semifinals in San Antonio, Texas. Ole Miss had knocked off Iona and Notre Dame in the first two rounds.
On Feb. 17, Barnes won his 60th game as the Rebel mentor and reached the 60-win milestone the fastest of any head coach in Ole Miss history. Barnes' 60th victory was a 67-61 win over South Carolina. Barnes' coaching record now stands at 66-35.
The 66 coaching victories are already the sixth most in Ole Miss men's basketball history, and Barnes is the only coach in Ole Miss history to average 20 or more wins per season in a career.
Barnes played four seasons for the Rebel program from 1984-88. During his playing career, Barnes earned All-SEC honors and All-America honorable mention accolades from The Sporting News in 1988. He finished third in the coaches' balloting for SEC Player of the Year in 1988.
He is the first person in SEC basketball history to be named Coach of the Year and All-SEC first team as a player.
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