Rick Barnes

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Rick Barnes served as Clemson's nineteenth head basketball coach, hired to follow Cliff Ellis in 1994. He held the position from 1994 to 1998.

Barnes was the first coach in Clemson history to take the Tigers to the NCAA Tournament three consecutive years. He brought the Clemson to the NIT in 1994-1995 and to the NCAAs in 1995-1996, 1996-1997 and 1997-1998, meaning that Clemson was in post-season play every year of his tenure.

His top season was his third year, 1996-1997, when he coached the Tigers to a 16-1 start and a number two national ranking. The season opened with a 79-71 overtime victory against defending National Champion Kentucky. The team ended the season 23-10 and ranked eighth in the final USA Today poll.

Picked last in the ACC prior to his first season, he shocked the basketball world by winning his first ten games, including a 75-70 victory over Number 9-ranked Duke in Cameron Indoor Stadium. His second season featured an 18-11 record, including Clemson's first-ever ACC Tournament victory over 20th-ranked North Carolina.

The Tigers were ranked fifth in the nation in the pre-season poll of 1997-1998, an example of the level of respect that Barnes had brought to the program. Clemson defeated three top-25 teams in 1997-1998, including sixth-ranked South Carolina.

Barnes concluded his four years with a 74-48 record, a 60.7 percent winning mark, the highest in Clemson history. The school also established attendence records on a per game and total basis in 1996-1997 and 1997-1998.

He is now the head coach at the University of Texas. He took that program to the Final Four in 2004.



Preceded by: Cliff Ellis Clemson University Basketball Coaches Succeeded by: Larry Shyatt