Jim Barnes resigns position as head football coach at Augustan

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

Jim Barnes, second on Augustana’s all-time list in terms of coaching victories, announced his resignation as the head 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 & Wisconsin.

During his tenure, which began in February of 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 eleven year span.” Said Barnes. “ I am proud of how recent teams battled to earn 3rd 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 NCAA Division III “Player of the Year” in 2009 and Hay was the winner of the AvGrower “Player of the Year” in 2000. 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.

“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.”

Barnes has been a head coach at the collegiate level for the last 16 seasons (including his five year stint at Wooster) and his overall record is a sterling 116-47 (.712) and he was 85-31 (.733) in conference play. Besides the three CCIW titles, he led Augustana to runner-up finishes in 2002-03-08 and third place marks in 2004-09-10. His most recent season 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,” he said. “It is time for me to recharge, find a new passion and a new opportunity to serve.”

The Vikings also played the toughest schedule in NCAA Division III in 2010 according to the winning percentage of opponents as compiled by the NCAA statistical bureau. The Blue & Gold’s opponents win-loss percentage (OWP) was .674 (ranked No. 1 nationally) and the overall strength of schedule number was the toughest amongst the nation's 238 NCAA Division III football playing schools at .635.

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 on the all-time victory list with 56 league victories.

None of the success that he had at Augustana comes as any surprise, especially given his background leading up to being

named the Vikings head coach in 2000.

At Wooster, Barnes took over a Fighting Scott program that had been 1-9 in 1994. In the following two seasons, he led the team to records of 5-5 and 7-3. In 1997, he pushed the Scots to a 9-1 mark - their best in 74 years - and a share of the North Coast Athletic Conference title. During his last two seasons, Barnes guided his team to identical 8-2 records.

During his tenure at Wooster, he compiled a glossy record of 37-13.

As a head coach he compiled the best winning percentage in the history of Wooster and was the first to post three consecutive eight-victory seasons. When the Scots won the NCAC title in 1997 it was the first conference championship since 1959. In his five years his teams established over 40 team and individual records.

A graduate of Willowbrook High School in Villa Park, 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.

After graduating from Augustana Magna Cum Laude, he went to law school at the University of Illinois, earning his Juris Doctor degree in May of 1985. After serving as an attorney for the law firm of Peterson, Ross, Schloerb & Seidel in Chicago for a year, Barnes decided to return to football, this time as a coach.