Barnes Hired as Assistant Track & Field Coach
July 3, 2012
NORMAL, Ill. - Illinois State head men's and women's track & field coach Elvis Forde announced the hiring of Stephanie Barnes as an assistant coach Tuesday. Barnes joins the staff after spending the last two years as a graduate assistant in the same capacity.
"Stephanie has done a great job with our pole vaulters the last two years as a graduate assistant and the growth and depth of that squad speaks volumes to her dedication and knowledge within the sport," Forde said. "She has done a tremendous job not with just our current student-athletes, but on the recruiting trail as well, signing some high caliber athletes that can help us along the way. Her presence will provide a nice soft and tender touch, which will mold well with our team. We should see some leaps and bounds adding an additional staff member to our program and will help us reach our goals of a top-tier member in the Valley faster."
The past two years, Barnes has been in charge of developing the Redbird pole vault squad. Under her guidance, she helped those student-athletes to five of the top-three performances in Illinois State history, including two record-breaking performances by Rachelle Harbert both indoors and outdoors. At the conference level, she guided the squad to five top-five finishes at the championships in 2012. She also helped Mike Ziegler to his first-ever NCAA West Region qualification.
Outside of pole vault, Barnes has also been in charge of gymnastics workouts for the javelin throwers, including Tim Glover and Leigh Petranoff, helping them with their overall strength, core and flexibility, while improving upon their technique. Other than coaching, Barnes' other duties includes logistical coordination for travel, banquets, fundraising and awards.
"I am excited to be joining the staff as a full-time assistant coach," Barnes said. "This is an amazing opportunity for me to be able to continue to work with the team and student-athletes and help them reach their goals. The team is on the brink of breaking out and being on the front edge of the conference and I am honored to be able to continue to help the team grow in all capacities."
Prior to Illinois State, the Sauk City, Wis., native coached pole vault at Wisconsin-Eau Claire for a year, after graduating from there in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in kinesiology, with an emphasis on exercise science. While in school, Barnes was a four-year letter winner in track & field and earned one letter in gymnastics in 2005. On the track, Barnes was a two-time NCAA Division III National Champion in the pole vault, while accumulating six All-American certificates.
The 2007 NCAA Woman of the Year honoree earned her master's degree in sport management from Illinois State in the spring of 2012.
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