Men's Hoops Names New Head Coach

April 9,1998

OXFORD, Miss. -- Ole Miss dipped into its current staff to name its new head basketball coach here Thursday as assistant coach Roderick Barnes was elevated to the position.

Appearing at a late afternoon press conference on campus, Barnes was introduced to the media by Chancellor Robert C. Khayat as the school's 19th head coach at the University of Mississippi. The position became available earlier this week when six-year head coach Rob Evans resigned to accept a similar post with Arizona State.

"When we realized we would have the opportunity to search for a new head coach for men's basketball, we certainly had some nominations come in," Chancellor Khayat said. "One name surfaced immediately, a person we have known for many years and admired, a person who has made incredible contributions to this University, first as a student and then as a coach. In every phase of his life, he has demonstrated that he is the kind of person who can lead groups and institutions and organizations and teams. So this University is blessed that Rod has accepted our invitation to serve as the head men's basketball coach."

Barnes now faces the task of having to put together a coaching staff.

"My plan is to hire guys who want to be at the University," he said. "I want guys with integrity, guys who want to work hard. I also want a staff with a lot of class so that we will be examples for the young men we are going to coach."

Barnes said his team will "play man-to man, press some, and run a variety of zone defenses. We're going to dictate what happens on the basketball court. We're going to outwork people."

As to his coaching style, Barnes said he has drawn from a lot of people. "Obviously, since I've been here the last five years, I've taken a lot of things from Coach Evans... his philosophy and a lot of his style," he said. "Some of it I took from Coach Ed Murphy, who I played for. As to my approach to the basketball game, I would have to give a lot of that credit to my high school coach, John Smith. I've had a lot of good coaches and I've worked for some really great coaches, but I've designed my own style and my own philosophy."

As a player at Ole Miss, Barnes starred for the Rebels from 1985-88 and racked up 1,201 career points. He is one of 21 Ole Miss players to score over 1,000 career points, and he stands second in career assists (456), second in career three-point field goal percentage (39.7) and fifth in career steals (154). He was a two-time All-Southeastern Conference guard for the Rebels during his playing days.

Barnes, who just ended his fifth season as an assistant coach at Ole Miss, joined the Rebel coaching staff in June of 1993. His responsibilities included recruiting, scouting and on-the-floor coaching.

"Rod is so well respected in the state of Mississippi and within the Ole Miss family, not only because he played here, but because of the type person he is," head coach Rob Evans was quoted in the 1997-98 Ole Miss Basketball Media Guide. "He has a tremendous track record, and he adds a great amount to our program because he is so good with the players. He has done a superb job in both recruiting and coaching."

Junior guard Keith Carter made it known he felt the decision of hiring Barnes was a good one.

"I think, as a team, we

 

 

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