05/29/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 05/29/2020 15:55
While bitter news is never easy to endure, Barnes happily endorsed both Conarroe and former assistant coach and sent the pair off with best wishes and years of memories shared and knowledge passed along.
'Outside of our obvious goal to strive for wins on the court,' Barnes said, 'one of the primary focuses we have in our program is to develop our people. We always center that focus on our student-athletes, and we have seen many of our alumni go on to do great things, but the development of our coaching staff is also a huge concern for me.'
Barnes has built his program on the foundation of a family-oriented culture, preaching concepts like 'Family', 'Stronger Together', and 'Brotherhood' to his `Runner teams. Bakersfield's ninth-year Head Coach has fostered an environment where young men can turn their basketball skills into degrees and their degrees into careers. CSUB's assistant coaches have also benefited from the fraternity that exists and they have always been encouraged to grow themselves.
On May 23, 2020, Conarroe, formerly CSUB's Associate Head Coach, announced he had accepted an offer to be the Head Coach at his alma mater, Colorado College. Less than nine months earlier, former Assistant Coach accepted the same role at Tuskegee University, just 40 miles outside of Montgomery, Ala.
'I'm a proud mentor,' Barnes said of Conarroe, who spent the past 16 years working under Barnes. 'We joke about it, a proud older brother to him. We're close and we'll always be close…It's like when a dad's son is leaving the house. You want them to be better than you are.'
Conarroe also had high praises for the mentoring leadership Barnes provided him: 'Coach Barnes is an amazing person. Everybody that goes to play for or work for Coach Barnes is going to finish a better person, in every aspect of their life than when they started…All of those things [Coach Barnes described as my qualities] are because of this program and because of what Coach has poured into me.'
'Coach Barnes and I have been friends for much of my professional life,' said Taylor, who coached his Tuskegee Golden Tigers to a 17-10 record in his first season at the helm. 'He has impacted my life in way that I cannot explain. When I went to work for him at CSUB, I was amazed at how great he is. From top to bottom, he does things the right way and he expects that of everyone around him…Tuskegee is a WeBelieve version of TeamBelieve.'
When the timeline of the COVID-19 situation allows, Barnes and the CSUB Athletics Department will begin a search to fill the vacant spot on the coaching staff, a task made much more difficult by the family atmosphere. While Barnes will seek a great basketball mind and a hard worker, he will also hold applicants to the high standard of helping lead his program and helping his student-athletes become better men.
In the meantime, Barnes will continue working with his current staff to maintain the progress the program has made. Assistant Coaches and , Director of Basketball Operations , and Director of Player Development have been and will remain integral members of the `Runner family as Barnes excitedly prepares for the upcoming season with his stellar coaching staff.