Augustana coach resigns

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Jim Barnes
Jim Barnes steps aside after 11 years at Augustana, 16 as a D-III head coach.
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Jim Barnes, second on Augustana’s all-time list in terms of coaching victories, announced his resignation as football coach, it was announced today. Barnes will step away from a program where he once served as team captain and later served as the head coach for 11 successful seasons.

He compiled an overall record of 79-34 (.699) and was 56-21 (.727) in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin. His overall record, including five years at Wooster, is 116-47 (.712). This year’s Vikings finished with a 6-4 overall record and a 4-3 ledger in the CCIW.

“The challenges and burdens of trying to maintain the Augustana football tradition can take a heavy toll in these days,” Barnes said in a school release. “It is time for me to recharge, find a new passion and a new opportunity to serve.”

During his tenure, which began in February 2000 when he was hired to replace Tom Schmulbach, his teams never had a losing season.

“I am very proud of the numerous team and individual accomplishments – CCIW titles in ’01, ’05 & ’06 – and the tremendous academic accomplishments over the 11-year span.” Said Barnes. “I am proud of how recent teams battled to earn third place in the highly competitive CCIW where national powers regularly reside and where our schedule was ranked amongst the most difficult in the NCAA. These young men always represented this tradition with great honor.”

Barnes hit the ground running in 2000 when he was hired to replace Tom Schmulbach. In his second season at the helm of his alma mater, Augustana went 10-2, won the CCIW title with a 6-1 record, and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division III playoffs. His 2005 unit also hit the double digit mark in victories, going 10-2 overall and winning the conference crown with a perfect 7-0 record. That 2005 team also made it to the second round of the NCAA playoffs.

The Vikings won three CCIW titles (2001-05-06) under Barnes’ tutelage and participated in two NCAA Division III playoffs.

He coached a total of 20 NCAA Division III All-Americans and 46 first-team all-CCIW performers in 11 seasons. Three players (David Chorney in 2001, Mike Hansen in 2003 and Tom Anthony in 2005) were selected as CCIW Players of the Year while playing for Barnes. He mentored nine CoSIDA Academic All-Americans and three players (Mackenzie Hay in 2000, Todd Baldwin in 2002 and Blaine Westemeyer in 2009) were winners of the prestigious National Football Foundation Postgraduate Scholarship.

Westemeyer was the recipient of the Gagliardi Trophy as the top student-athlete in Division III football in 2009. Augustana also had a player represented in the Aztec Bowl (the NCAA Division III all-stars against the Mexican all-stars) every year during his tenure. Twelve of his players were named All-Americans.

“Of additional distinction, the academic Game Plan for Success I brought to Augustana contributed greatly to our team GPA rising nearly a quarter point during my tenure and the long list of Academic All-Americans is extremely gratifying,” Barnes remarked. “I had the opportunity to attract and work with great young men. In addition, I am grateful for the tireless service of the assistant coaches who contributed so much to the lives they mentored.”

Only the legendary Bob Reade (146-23-1 from 1979-94) piled up more victories at Augustana than Barnes. His winning percentage of .699 trails the .867 of Reade’s and the .723 compiled by his predecessor Schmulbach. In the CCIW, which has been in existence since 1946, he is 10th all-time with 56 league victories.

A graduate of Willowbrook High School in Villa Park, Illinois, Barnes enjoyed a tremendous career at Augustana. He was a three-year starter at defensive back and served as team captain as a senior in 1980. In addition, he earned all-conference honors as a senior.

The Vikings won the final four games of his senior year, starting a regular season unbeaten streak of 70 games that continued through the 1988 campaign. In the spring of 1981, he was the winner of the Knut Erickson Award, which is given to the four-year athlete with the highest grade point average.