Rick Barnes Gets 500th Career Victory

The Longhorns handily beat Sam Houston State 84-50 Tuesday night giving coach Rick Barnes a historic 500th win. 

Barnes becomes just the 50th coach in NCAA Division I history to reach the milestone, one of just 12 active. Coach Mike Krzyzewski, of Duke, is the winningest active coach with 870 wins.

Ever humble, Barnes attributed his success to those around him — his family, university presidents, athletic directors, assistant coaches, and athletes. After 24 years as a head coach (13 at Texas and 11 before at George Mason, Providence, and Clemson), Barnes said he has learned to savor each moment.

“My message to the team before the game was really about staying in the moment,” he said. “I told them after the game that what I have learned from all of this and through a lifetime of it is that life is a vapor. It goes by so quick.”

Comparing Barnes’ tenure with the 92 years before he arrived, his impact at Texas has been undeniable. Barnes has had teams ranked in the AP Top 10 75 times compared to 3, had 51 wins against AP Top 25 teams compared to 23, and produced 12 McDonald’s All-Americans compared to just 1 before. 

But don’t expect Barnes to hang up his whistle anytime soon. He’s just 56 and an NCAA Championship has alluded him. The closest Barnes and his teams have come is Texas’ Final Four appearance in 2003.

Last January, Texas earned its first ever No. 1 ranking as it kicked off the season with a 17-0 win streak. But after a disappointing end to that season with a loss in the first round of the NCAA tournament, Barnes and the Longhorns are looking to make a comeback this year.

Earlier this week, sophomore Jordan Hamilton was named Philipps 66 Big 12 Conference Player of the Week for the second week in a row, and he lived up to the award with 25 points in Tuesday’s game. Hamilton has averaged 26 points and eight rebounds in the Horns’ last three games.

Senior point guard Dogus Balbay also had a big game with a career-high 14 points.

Texas heads into the Thanksgiving holiday with their first week as a ranked team and the confidence from a solid win. They’ll be back on the court Saturday, Nov. 27 in Austin to take on the Rice Owls.   

Top photo courtesy of University of Texas Athletics Photography.


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