Barnes calls it a careerPublished 11:17pm Saturday, May 10, 2014
SOUTH POINT — Chris Barnes is ending his high school coaching career, but not his coaching career.
After 29 years of coaching basketball including the past 17 as a varsity head coach, Barnes is retiring as the South Point Pointers’ head coach.
However, Barnes doesn’t plan to divorce himself totally from the game. In fact, he is merely changing venues as a coach.
Barnes is going to use his coaching experience to help individuals with the Barnes Basketball Academy to be operated at the Faith and Fitness Center in Ironton.
“I want to thank South Point for the opportunity and bringing me back to the area,” said Barnes.
“I’m not quitting basketball. I’m still going to be coaching, but just not coaching a team. I just want to help kids. I’ll help anyone. With the academy, I’ll be able to watch the kids I work with and see what they need to work on or fix.”
Barnes was an All-Ohio guard for the Ironton Fighting Tigers when they reached the Class AA regional finals in 1981.
He spent his first year of coaching as a varsity assistant at Portsmouth West before then-Ironton coach Phil Rice helped him return to his alma mater.
Barnes was the head coach for two seasons at Ohio University Southern and three seasons at Ironton before taking a similar position at Central Crossing High School in Columbus.
After seven years at Central Crossing, Barnes return to the area and spent the past five years at South Point. He guided the Pointers to the Ohio Valley Conference championship this past season.
While coaching at Central Crossing and South Point, Barnes was able to coach his three sons, Bryce, Blake and Brandon.
Bryce set the Central Crossing all-time scoring record and Brandon set the South Point career scoring mark. Blake played at both schools and finished with more than 1,000 career points.
“It was difficult coaching my sons, but the two things that stood out with them, one, they were very good people and that was something I am proud of, and two, they put the work in,” said Barnes.
Working with the academy at the Faith and Fitness Center will enable Barnes to teach basketball with a Christian message.
“Giving a Christian message and teaching basketball is the best of everything,” said Barnes.
Another benefit of working at the academy instead of coaching in the high school setting will give Barnes a couple of new experiences during the holidays.
“I don’t know what it’s like to have a Thanksgiving break or a Christmas break,” said Barnes. “I’ve never had that in the past, but don’t get me wrong. I loved it.”