PITTSBURGH—Nationally distinguished as one of the top administrators in collegiate athletics, Scott Barnes has been named the new athletic director at the University of Pittsburgh by Chancellor Patrick Gallagher.
Barnes arrives at Pitt following an impressive tenure at Utah State University, where he was honored as an Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year for his work elevating the Aggies’ program. He owns 26 years of administrative experience at the collegiate level and recently served as chair of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee.
Chancellor Gallagher publicly introduced Barnes at a Friday press conference on the Pitt campus. Barnes was the unanimous choice of a 14-member university search committee charged with the responsibility of recommending candidates. The committee was led by Vice Chancellor for Research Conduct and Compliance Dr. Randy Juhl, who has served as Pitt’s Acting Athletic Director the past four months.
“Athletics play an important role in the life of the University,” said Pitt Chancellor Patrick Gallagher, “and in Scott Barnes we have found a person who understands the role that athletics play and who also recognizes the primacy of academics. Scott clearly shares our belief that we should pursue excellence in all that we do and that a student can be good in both athletics and academics.”
“We had an exceptionally strong pool of well-qualified candidates,” Juhl said, “and Scott Barnes stood out in that group. In addition to having outstanding managerial ability and experience in athletics, he is also someone who can provide strong leadership and instill confidence in the diverse group of stakeholders involved in our athletic programs.”
“I want to thank Chancellor Gallagher and the search committee for this tremendous opportunity,” said Barnes, who will officially begin at Pitt on July 1. “Chancellor Gallagher’s vision for excellence across all facets of this great university, including athletics, is impressive and makes Pitt an exciting place to be for myself and my family. Pitt’s exceptional student-athletes and coaches, loyal fan base and storied history are true assets that we can build on together. In addition, our membership in the ACC brings continued opportunities for Pitt Athletics to achieve excellence in every way. The Barnes family is honored and humbled to join the Pitt family.”
Barnes spent the past seven years as Athletic Director at Utah State, adding the title of Vice President in 2012. Under his direction the Aggies enjoyed unprecedented athletic, academic and fundraising success. The highlights of Barnes’ Utah State tenure include:
· USU football averaging 10 wins a year over the past three seasons. Since 2012, the Aggies have compiled a 30-11 mark (.732) and won a school-record three consecutive bowls. (Prior to this three-year period, Utah State owned just one bowl victory in its first 114 seasons of competition.) In 2012, Utah State went 11-2, the winningest season in school history, and finished No. 16 in the final Associated Press poll. This past season, USU went 10-4 and defeated UTEP in the New Mexico Bowl.
· Broad-based athletic program success. Under Barnes’ watch, Utah State won 20 conference team championships. Individually, USU student-athletes perennially produced all-conference, All-America and all-academic performances.
· Membership in the Mountain West Conference. Barnes ushered Utah State into a strong and stable league when the Aggies joined the Mountain West in 2013. The new affiliation provided USU with a nationally recognized conference that was also geographically advantageous. Utah State competed in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) from 2006-13.
· An 87% Graduation Success Rate (GSR). In addition to scoring high in the most recent GSR report, Utah State student-athletes earned a cumulative 3.17 grade-point average during the 2013-14 academic year. The Aggies boasted 160 Mountain West All-Academic honorees, while 82 earned Mountain West Scholar-Athlete status.
· Unprecedented athletic fundraising success. Utah State achieved all-time fundraising records under Barnes. He cultivated the two largest lead gifts in USU Athletics history: $5.25 million for the Wayne Estes Center (basketball practice facility and volleyball competition venue) and $3.7 million for the ICON Sports Performance Center (which serves 16 sports programs and more than 400 student-athletes). He additionally increased private funding to the football program by $2.5 million through the Merlin Olsen Fund for Football Competitive Excellence.
· Expansion and enhancement of USU’s infrastructure. With fundraising at an all-time high, Barnes oversaw the completion of the $6.5 million, 26,329-square-foot ICON Sports Performance Center in 2013 and the $9.7 million, 32,000-square-foot Wayne Estes Center in 2014. He recently announced a long-term naming rights partnership that will provide key funding for Utah State’s $36 million football stadium renovation project scheduled to begin in May and be completed for the 2016 season.
· A program-wide NIKE branding and identity program. Barnes orchestrated a partnership with NIKE, resulting in a new branding initiative for Utah State Athletics and a $2.4 million apparel deal to outfit each Aggie student-athlete.
Barnes not only built significant momentum for Utah State Athletics but did so in a fiscally prudent way. USU was lauded as the most economically efficient athletic department in the nation in 2009 following a study done by Texas A&M’s Laboratory for the Study of Intercollegiate Athletics. In four subsequent studies, Utah State finished in the top 20 each year, including three times in the top six.
The Aggies’ progress under Barnes has earned national praise and recognition. He was a 2014 recipient of the Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year Award. Well-versed on collegiate athletics issues, Barnes has served on multiple NCAA committees and recently concluded a five-year appointment on the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee. He is a member of the 1A Athletic Directors’ Institute Faculty and a regular presenter for the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA).
Prior to Utah State, Barnes spent nearly three years (2005-08) at the University of Washington as Senior Associate Athletic Director for Advancement. In that capacity, he was responsible for all external operations for the Huskies’ athletic department, including fundraising, ticket sales, multimedia rights, marketing and communications.
Barnes served as Athletic Director at Eastern Washington University from 1999 to 2005. He increased the department’s operating funds by securing the largest single gift in EWU athletics history and a $3 million university soft drink contract. Barnes hired six head coaches at Eastern Washington, including four who would earn Big Sky Coach of the Year honors. His work at EWU was recognized by NACDA when the organization honored him as the Division I-AA West Region Athletic Director of the Year.
Barnes’ initial athletic director appointment was at Humboldt State University in California from 1997-99. He spent four years at Iowa State University, serving as the Cyclones’ Director of Athletic Development (1994-95) and Associate Athletic Director for Development and Special Projects (1995-97).
From 1990-94, Barnes was an Associate Athletic Director at the University of the Pacific, serving as the Executive Director of the Pacific Athletic Foundation. He began his career in college athletics at the University of San Diego as Director of Athletic Development from 1989-90.
Barnes’ career in college athletics was inspired by his own student-athlete experience as a basketball player at Fresno State University. Playing under legendary Bulldogs coach Boyd Grant, Barnes was an All-Pacific Coast Athletic Association (PCAA) performer at center and set the school record for single-season blocks (48). In 1983-84, he helped Fresno State to the PCAA Tournament title—capped by a 51-49 victory over Jerry Tarkanian’s 10th-ranked UNLV Rebels—and an NCAA Tournament berth.
Barnes played professional basketball in Germany in 1985-86 and was the general manager of the Fresno Flames of the World Basketball League (WBL) from 1988-89.
He earned his bachelor’s (1986) and master’s (1993) degrees from Fresno State in physical education with an emphasis in athletic administration. His wife Jody was also a Fresno State student-athlete as a member of the track team. The couple has two children: daughter Milanna and son Isaac.
<span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>BARNES PERSONAL INFORMATION</span>
Born: June 23, 1962
Hometown: Spokane, Wash.
Alma Mater: Fresno State, 1986
Family: Barnes and his wife Jody have two children: daughter Milanna and son Isaac.
<span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>BARNES PREVIOUS COLLEGIATE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPERIENCE</span>
University of San Diego, 1989-90, Director of Athletic Development.
University of the Pacific, 1990-94, Executive Director of the Pacific Athletic Foundation and Associate Athletic Director.
Iowa State University, 1994-95, Director of Athletic Development; 1995-97, Associate Athletic Director for Development and Special Projects.
Humboldt State University, 1997-99, Athletic Director.
Eastern Washington University, 1999-2005, Athletic Director.
University of Washington, 2005-08, Senior Associate Athletic Director for Advancement.
Utah State University, 2008-15, Athletic Director; 2012-15, Vice President.