Nov. 7, 2013
Auburn's Tony Barbee can make a road trip to the UMass Atheltics Hall of Fame (Anthony Hall photo)
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn basketball coach Tony Barbee says he grew into a man at the University of Massachusetts.
Turned into a good basketball player and coach, too.
UMass announced Thursday that Barbee and five others are the newest members of the school's Athletics Hall of Fame. They will be honored at a basketball game Jan. 26 with the formal ceremony later that afternoon.
"I'm absolutely humbled to receive such a distinction," Barbee said Thrusday after an Auburn practice.
Barbee's road to college basketball began there under coach John Calipari, and continued at UMass as a coach after he graduated, and later with Calipari at the University of Memphis.
"I was blessed to play for one of the coaches in the history of the game. He's already in the UMass Hall of Fame, and I think he'll be in the Naismith Hall of Fame one day," Barbee said. "I was fortunate to play for a great coaching staff and great teammates. We all sacrificed for each other so we could win at a higher level.
"I love the place. I was born and raised in Indiana and that will always be my home, but I consider UMass my home, too. I grew from a young man to a man there. I cut my teeth in the business that I knew I would be in one day, and that was coaching."
Barbee is remembered fondly at UMass, listed in the Hall of Fame announcement as "one of the most memorable players to wear a UMass basketball uniform and was at the forefront of the program's resurgence in the early 1990s."
Barbee was part of four post-season teams and two Atlantic 10 championships. He left UMass as the school's third all-time leading scorer. He spent six years as an assistant coach under John Calipari and four years over two stints as an assistant coach under Bruiser Flint.
Others being inducted into the school's Hall of Fame are Ned Deane in football, Julie Ready-Mulvey in women's basketball, Jim Weller in men's lacrosse, Rebecca Donaghue in women's cross/track, and Doug Welenc in baseball.
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: