KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – University of Tennessee head men’s basketball coach Rick Barnes is a first-time nominee for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, as announced Thursday on ESPN.
Barnes is among just 15 first-time North American nominees, joining a select group that includes names such as Vince Carter, Mike Gminski, Bill Laimbeer and the 2008 U.S. Olympic Redeem Team.
“I feel incredibly blessed to be nominated for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the pinnacle of our sport,” Barnes said. “This distinction, though, is not just about me, but more about all the wonderful people who have impacted me throughout my coaching journey the last four-plus decades. I want to thank every coach, staff member, administrator, fan and friend who has supported me and the programs I’ve had the joy of working for. But most of all, I want to thank the players I’ve had the privilege of coaching, as well as my family for their unconditional love and for keeping me focused on the Lord and living for the glory of His kingdom.”
Now in his 44th consecutive year as a college basketball coach, including his 37th in a row at the helm of a program, Barnes is one of the most successful coaches in the history of the sport. His 787 victories place him No. 15 all-time among Division I head coaches (min. five years in DI), including second among such active coaches.