Auburn head coach Tony Barbee continues to work tirelessly to rebuild and rebrand Auburn basketball. Entering his fourth season on the Plains, he continues to shape the roster to fit his style of play as he builds with playmakers, sharp-shooters and physical, athletic players in the post.
In his first year at Auburn in 2010-11, Barbee took the beginning steps of molding the Auburn roster towards his prefered style of play. Over time, Barbee helped develop Frankie Sullivan into one of the most prolific Auburn player in recent memory as the guard concluded his career in 2012-13 eighth all-time on the scoring list with 1,556 career points to go along with 190 career steals, fourth all-time.
Auburn finished 11-20 overall and 4-12 in the SEC in 2010-11 but won two of its last three games and went 3-4 in its last seven regular season games to finish fifth in the SEC's Western Division. The Tigers were a consensus preseason last place pick in the league and was called "the worst BCS conference team in the country" by some national prognosticators. By the end of the year, however, Barbee was being discussed as a candidate for SEC Coach of the Year by the media and league coaches in the latter part of the season.
The Tigers were one of the youngest teams in America with an average of 1.14 years of experience, ranked 315th out of 345 Division I teams. There were no seniors on the roster and only 12 percent of Auburn's scoring returned from the previous season's team that finished 15-17 overall.
A trademark of each of Barbee's teams, it starts with defense as undermanned Auburn ranked second in the SEC with 7.8 steals per game.
The relentless Tigers, which took on the personality of their head coach, came back to win four games after trailing by 15 points or more, including wins over Mississippi State, Ole Miss and at LSU.
The 20-point comeback win over Ole Miss was the second largest in school history, surpassing the 19-point comeback win over Mississippi State two weeks prior. Auburn upset Florida State which eventually came within one point of the NCAA Tournament Final Four.
Auburn followed that season by again exceeding preseason expectations, finishing 10th in the SEC with a 15-16 overall record and a 5-11 league mark. Among the victories was a 65-55 victory over No. 23 Mississippi State.
From the previous season, Auburn improved its RPI to 145 from 253 and strength of schedule to 71 from 148.
When Barbee was named Auburn's 20th head basketball coach on March 24, 2010, he had advanced to postseason play in 18 of his 19 seasons as a head coach, assistant coach and player.
Barbee, 42, brought his energetic, exciting and uptempo brand of basketball to the Tigers, who begin their fourth season in the sparkling $86 million Auburn Arena.
In addition, can he ever recruit? He recruits not only the top players in the Southeast but also the nation and the world, bringing in international players Matthew Atewe (Canada), Benas Griciunas (Lithuania) and Dion Wade (Belgium) prior to the 2013-14 season.
His recruiting efforts don't stop at the players either. Barbee recruits Auburn fans, Auburn students and even the media.
Barbee, who averaged 20.5 wins per season in four years as head coach at UTEP, exceeded expectations each season in El Paso. He steadily improved each year with the Miners, capped with a 26-7 record, Conference USA regular season title and NCAA Tournament appearance in 2009-10. The Miners lost to eventual NCAA runner-up Butler in the NCAA Tournament.
The Miners finished 15-1 in Conference USA and had a 16-game winning streak and set a school record for consecutive road wins with seven while being ranked in the top 25 by both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll for the first time in 18 years.
Barbee, who was also named NABC District 11 Coach of the Year, coached C-USA Player of the Year Randy Culpepper, All-CUSA second-team selection Derrick Caracter and C-USA All-Defensive Team member Julyan Stone.
Barbee coached Conference USA first-team selections in each of his final three seasons at UTEP to go along with four players who earned 10 All-C-USA honors combined.
Despite losing all-time leading scorer Stefon Jackson from the year before, the 2009-10 Miners cemented their reputation as one of the nation's top teams with tenacious defense.
UTEP lowered its opponent scoring average from 71.9 points per game in 2008-09 to 64.6 ppg the following season -- the second best scoring defense for the Miners in the last 18 years. UTEP's field goal percentage defense (.392) was its best in 36 years, and its 3-point field goal percentage defense (.313) tied for first in school history.
The Miners held 14 of 16 C-USA opponents below their season scoring averages and in league road games, held their opponents to a mere 35.9 percent shooting from the field.
One of UTEP's biggest wins was a 72-67 victory at Memphis on Jan. 20, ending Memphis' NCAA record-tying 64 game conference winning streak.
Barbee's record improved each of his four seasons at UTEP by going 14-17 in his first season in 2006-07, 19-14 in 2007-08, 23-14 in 2008-09 to 26-7 in 2009-10. His C-USA record improved each season as well from 6-10 to 8-8 to 10-6 to 15-1 and Conference USA Champions.
The 2008-09 Miners advanced to the championship series of the College Basketball Invitational behind Stefon Jackson, who ended his prolific career as both UTEP's and Conference USA's all-time leading scorer with 2,456 points. UTEP went 23-14 overall and tied for fourth in C-USA at 10-6 as three players received All-C-USA honors: Jackson a first-team selection, Randy Culpepper a third-team pick and Arnett Moultrie an All-Freshman Team member.
In 2007-08, UTEP went 19-14 overall and tied for sixth in C-USA with an 8-8 record as Jackson was named first-team All-C-USA. Jackson led C-USA and was ranked seventh nationally in scoring at 23.6 ppg, eclipsing Dwyane Wade's C-USA junior scoring record with 778 points. Culpepper was selected the C-USA Sixth Man of the Year.
Despite being hired just two months prior to the start of practice and inheriting a roster with only three returning letterwinners, Barbee made UTEP competitive with a 14-17 record overall and 6-10 mark in C-USA, good for 10th in his first season. Jackson was an All-C-USA second-team selection.
Prior to his stint at UTEP, Barbee spent six highly successful seasons as an assistant coach at Memphis under John Calipari where he was considered one of the nation's top recruiters.
During Barbee's tenure as an assistant coach at Memphis from 2000-06, the Tigers won 148 games, an average of nearly 25 victories per season.
Memphis made six consecutive postseason tournament appearances (NCAA: 2003, 2004, 2006; and NIT: 2001, 2002, 2005). The Tigers earned three final AP top 25 rankings, fourth in 2006, 19th in 2003 and 24th in 2004.
In 2005-06, Memphis had a 33-4 record while reaching the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight. The Tigers won the C-USA regular season title and tournament championship while having two players chosen in the first round of the NBA Draft -- Rodney Carney (Philadelphia 76ers) and Shawne Williams (Indiana Pacers).
Memphis won a share of the 2004 C-USA regular season title, won the 2002 NIT and won the C-USA National Division in 2002 and 2003.
Barbee was named the top assistant in C-USA by Street & Smith in 2005-06 and was also honored by Rivals.com as the nation's No. 3 recruiter while at Memphis. HoopScoop magazine tabbed him as one of the nation's top assistant coaches in 2004.
Memphis produced top 10 recruiting classes in each of Barbee's six years, including the 2001 class that was ranked No. 1 in the country. The 2002 recruiting class would have been top-ranked had it not lost a player to the NBA.
Ten players coached by Barbee are playing or have played in the NBA - Derrick Caracter (Los Angeles Lakers), Arnett Moultrie (Philadelphia 76ers), Rodney Carney (Golden State Warriors), Joey Dorsey (Toronto Raptors), Chris Douglas-Roberts (Milwaukee Bucks), Earl Barron (Portland Trail Blazers), Shawne Williams (Portland Trail Blazers), Marcus Camby (Portland Trail Blazers), Dajuan Wagner (Cleveland Cavaliers) and Antonio Burks (Memphis Grizzlies).
Barbee began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at UMass for the 1995-96 season under Calipari. The Minutemen went 35-2 en route to the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament as Barbee was also the team's radio color analyst.
He was promoted to assistant coach at UMass from 1996-98 under Bruiser Flint while the Minutemen went to a pair of NCAA Tournaments.
Barbee was an assistant coach at Wyoming under Steve McClain in 1998-99 as the Cowboys went 18-10 and reached the NIT second round.
Barbee went back to UMass under Flint for the 1999-2000 season and advanced to the NIT.
As a player at UMass, Barbee was instrumental in the Minutemen posting a 91-39 record and earning four straight postseason tournament bids. UMass won back-to-back Atlantic 10 Conference regular season and tournament titles in 1992 and 1993.
Barbee still ranks among the school's all-time leaders in numerous statistical categories, including scoring with 1,643 points. He was a second-team All-Atlantic 10 player in 1991 and 1993 and All-Atlantic 10 Freshman team selection in 1990.
The Indianapolis, Ind., native helped UMass reach the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 in 1992 and the NIT Final Four in 1991.
He played professionally in Spain and France after his playing career at UMass.
Born, Aug. 10, 1971, Barbee earned his B.A. in sports management from UMass in 1993, with a minor in African-American studies. He and his wife, Holly, have a daughter, Hayden Alexandra, and son, Andrew Marsh.
Tony Barbee Quick Sketch
PERSONAL DATA: Born August 10, 1971, in Indianapolis, Ind.; married to the former Holly Marsh of Pleasant Valley, N.Y., and they have a daughter, Hayden Alexandra, and a son, Andrew Marsh.
YEARS AT AUBURN: Fourth. Became head coach on March 24, 2010, from UTEP.
EDUCATION: Graduated from North Central H.S. in Indianapolis, Ind., in 1989; B.A. in Sports Management from UMass in 1993.
Tony Barbee's All-time Record
Head Coaching Record
|2007-08||UTEP||19-14||.576||8-8 (t-6th)||College Basketball Inv. semifinals|
|2008-09||UTEP||23-14||.622||10-6 (t-4th)||College Basketball Inv. runner-up|
|2009-10||UTEP||26-7||.788||15-1 (Champions)||NCAA (First Round)/C-USA Coach of Year|
|2010-11||Auburn||11-20||.355||4-12 (5th, Western)|
Assistant Coaching Record
|1995-96||UMass (graduate asst.)||35-2||.946||15-1 (Champions)||NCAA (Final Four)/A-10 Tour. Champs|
|1996-97||UMass||19-14||.575||11-5 (3rd, East)||NCAA (First Round)|
|1997-98||UMass||21-11||.656||12-4 (t-2nd, East)||NCAA (First Round)|
|1998-99||Wyoming||18-10||.643||7-7 (t-4th, Mountain)||NIT (Second Round)|
|1999-2000||UMass||17-16||.515||9-7 (3rd, East)||NIT (First Round)|
|2000-01||Memphis||21-15||.583||10-6 (2nd, National)||NIT (Third Place)|
|2001-02||Memphis||27-9||.750||12-4 (1st, National)||NIT (Champions)|
|2002-03||Memphis||23-7||.767||13-3 (1st, National)||NCAA (First Round)|
|2003-04||Memphis||22-8||.733||12-4 (co-Champions)||NCAA (Second Round)|
|2004-05||Memphis||22-16||.579||9-7 (t-6th)||NIT (Semifinals)|
|2005-06||Memphis||33-4||.892||13-1 (Champions)||NCAA (Elite 8)/C-USA Tour. Champs|
Collegiate Playing Record
|1989-90||UMass||17-14||.548||10-8 (6th)||NIT (First Round), Atlantic-10 All-Freshman|
|1990-91||UMass||20-13||.606||10-8 (t-3rd)||NIT (Final Four), Atlantic-10 2nd-team|
|1991-92||UMass||30-5||.857||13-3 (Champions)||NCAA (Sweet 16)/A-10 Tour. Champs|
|1992-93||UMass||24-7||.774||11-3 (Champions)||NCAA (2nd Round), A-10 2nd-team;Tour.Champs|
Head Coaching Totals (7 years): 117-111 (.513)
UTEP (4 years): 82-52 (.612)
Auburn (3 years): 35-59 (.372)
Assistant Coaching Totals (11 years): 258-112 (.697)
UMass (4 years): 92-43 (.681)
Wyoming (1 year): 18-10 (.643)
Memphis (6 years): 148-59 (.715)
Playing Totals (4 years): 91-39 (.700)
UMass (4 years): 91-39 (.700)
21-year Div. I Coaching, Playing Record: 457-239 (.657)