John Barnes Introduced as Youngstown State's Head Women's Basketball Coach

John Barnes Introduced as Youngstown State's Head Women's Basketball Coach

John Barnes was officially introduced to the media and the community as the seventh head women's basketball coach at Youngstown State University on Thursday. Below are videos of Coach Barnes and seniors Liz Hornberger and Monica Touvelle from today's press conference in the Beeghly Center Coaches Court.

Barnes' Opening Statement

First of all, I'd like to say how honored and excited I am to be the next head coach at Youngstown State. It's an incredible opportunity for me. Ever since I got on campus, the community, the faculty and the staff has treated me like part of the family. It seemed like such a great place to be and work. I'd like to give a special thanks to President Dr. Anderson, Executive Director of Athletics Ron Strollo and Elaine Jacobs. (Elaine's) been great to me. Any question I've had she's been right there for me. It's made me feel unbelievably welcome. I can't get here and go to work and hopefully win a lot of games.

The YSU women's players have been very welcoming, very open, and I'm excited to be able to coach them. Being at Green Bay and having to go against them two times, I know their passion for the game and their passion to get better every year. I'm looking forward to working with them in the future.

I can't tell you how excited I am. I hope to continue the program in the direction it's going and hopefully win some championships while I'm here.

On his familiarity with the tradition of YSU women's basketball…

I know supportive the community has been in the past. There was a little bit of a lull in how good the team was. Coach Boldon has kind of brought it out of the depths. I see the passion of the administration, and, even in (Green Bay's) game here, the fan support has grown more and more. It's a community that is itching for its women's basketball team to keep climbing and get better. That's one of the reasons I was attracted to the job. I know if you continue to win, we'll have great community support.

On what he brings to the program to get it to the next level…

I think the biggest thing is experience with seven years as a head coach and going to the NCAA Tournament five of those seven years, being at the Big Ten level and going to the NCAA Tournament there, going to Green Bay as associate head coach and going to the NCAA Tournament with them. I know what it takes to win the Horizon League and move on to the next level. Those experiences are going to help me every day in practice to hopefully help bring the program to that level.

On if he was surprised at speed of process…

A little bit. Sometimes the hiring process happens very quickly. Other times it takes a long time. In a way I was surprised, but I think upon meeting the administration and them meeting me, and it just seemed like a very good match and a great situation to move forward with.

On how he'd describe himself as a head coach…

I think intense. I like to be energetic and bring a lot of toughness. I was a defensive player in college. My coach didn't want me shooting a lot, but he wanted to put me on the other team's best player. I kind of pride my teams on being tough mentally and physically and working hard.

On job being more attractive than three years ago…

It definitely has (become more attractive). I would have looked into it three years ago, too. My whole goal has been to be a head coach at the Division I level. Any program in Ohio around family is attractive. It's more attractive now, but I would have pursued it back then also.

On if he has big shoes to step into…

I think there's a precedent that's been set. I don't think there's any more pressure than I would put on myself. I'm a competitor, whether it be racquetball or table tennis or whatever. I have four older brothers and a twin brother, and we've had some serious battles throughout the years. I have a will to win. If we don't do well, I'm going to take it pretty hard on myself. I want to continue just like at Green Bay. They lost a WNBA player in Julie Wojta and had a good group coming back, just like we do here. You work hard and you find a way. Different players step up, and that's what I'm looking forward to here.

On his message to fans who want a winner…

First of all, I'd like to tell them that we appreciate the support that they've shown, especially last year. More and more have come out. We're going to try and put a great team on the floor so they can have an enjoyable and exciting season.

On what he knows about the team…

Everything that I've heard about the players has been nothing but good things - good individuals, hard workers, want to learn, want to get better and want to be champions. That's obviously a good start. In terms of basketball, they have been known to be good shooters. Three-point shooting has been a strength of theirs in the past. Defensively, they were number two in the league this year in terms of giving up points per game. That tells me they have a lot of heart and want to work hard. There are a ton of other details I could go into because of coaching against them and having their scouting report.

On what kind of offense he likes to run…

It depends on the personnel. If you have players who can get out and run and get easy baskets, you definitely want to do that. If we get in a half-court game, you have to be able to execute your sets and your motions and score.

On how to close the gap between YSU and Green Bay…

I think the biggest thing is getting players who fit your style and your system. In this case, I'm going to try to use the strengths of what's been built here and bring in my strengths offensively and defensively to bring it to the next level. I'm excited to go through individual workouts and practices to see what level the team brings every day. Working with a team like Green Bay, they work extremely hard every single time they step on the floor. I think that's been the difference maker for their program. That gap can be shortened. We'd love to be the team that wins the conference title, whether it be over Green Bay or whoever. We want to put ourselves at the top.

On what he is looking for when assembling a staff…

I've been doing a ton of interviews. I'm looking for the best assistants that will complement myself and complement the players that are here. That's w

On how close YSU's program is to Green Bay's…

I can't answer that right now because I haven't been too involved in the day-to-day with the team yet. That will tell me more. Obviously they were second place in the league this year. They're obviously close. That gap between second and first, I'm not sure how big it is. I'll know a lot more when we start practicing and doing individual workouts.

Coach John Barnes

Senior Liz Hornberger

Senior Monica Touvelle