Ole Miss Announces Barnes' Contract Extension On Friday

Aug. 2, 2002

OXFORD, Miss. - Ole Miss officials announced here Friday that head basketball coach Rod Barnes has signed a contract extension through 2006. The contract has been approved by Chancellor Robert Khayat and the Board of Trustees, State Institutions of Higher Learning.

"In addition to Coach Barnes' obvious commitment to the University of Mississippi, I think this agreement demonstrates the University's commitment to Rod and his family," said Athletics Director Pete Boone. "The success of Coach Barnes is not only clearly seen in Southeastern Conference and postseason play, but also in the academic performance of his student-athletes."

"First of all, I want to thank God for the opportunity to be the head basketball coach at Ole Miss," Barnes said. "My family and I are thankful to the University administration for their commitment to our family and our basketball program.

"We feel this show of confidence is the type commitment needed in order to build on the success we have enjoyed in recent years. I also appreciate everything Pete and Chancellor Khayat have done for me."

Barnes will enter his fifth season as the head coach of the Rebel basketball program in 2002-03. In his first four years, the Satartia, Miss., native has compiled an 86-46 overall record and led Ole Miss to four straight postseason appearances (3 NCAA, 1 NIT). The 86 victories are the most wins by an Ole Miss head coach in his first four years at the helm of the program.

Last year, Barnes guided the Rebels to a 20-11 overall record and an NCAA Tournament berth. The 20-win campaign was Ole Miss' fifth in the last six seasons and the third in four years during Barnes' tenure. The 2002 NCAA Tournament bid was also the program's fifth appearance in the last six years, and the third under Barnes. Since 1996-97, Ole Miss is one of only two Southeastern Conference schools to have a winning season and appear in the postseason each of those six years. Kentucky is the other league school to do so.

In 2000-01, Barnes led Ole Miss to its best year in the school history. The Rebels posted a school-record 27 victories (27-8 record) and advanced to the program's first NCAA Tournament "Sweet Sixteen" appearance. Ole Miss won the 2001 Southeastern Conference Western Division title and advanced to the SEC Tournament championship game. Following the season, the Rebels were ranked No. 9 in the final ESPN/USA Today Top 25 poll, the program's highest ranking ever.

For his efforts, Barnes was named the Naismith Coach of the Year and CollegeInsider.com National Coach of the Year in 2001. He also received the SEC Coach of the Year honor, and became the first person in the league's history to earn All-SEC first team accolades as a player (1988) and the conference's Coach of the Year award.

In his first year in 1998-99, Barnes led Ole Miss to a 20-13 record and an NCAA Tournament berth. The Rebels defeated Villanova in the first round for the program's first-ever NCAA postseason victory. Barnes also became the first first-year coach in Ole Miss history to win 20 games and earn an NCAA invitation. The following year (1999-2000), Barnes directed a young and inexperienced squad to a 19-14 record and the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) quarterfinals.

 

 

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