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Barnard News Roundup

As a follow up to Jeff’s post on the departure of Baseball Coach Dave Barnard, here are some news stories. iBerkshires provides a reprint of the College’s press release. The Transcript interviewed Paul Morgan ’07.

“(Barrale’s) [new baseball coach] a good guy and a nice guy,” Morgan said. “We weren’t really sure what was going to happen with the whole thing. We had heard a lot of rumors that Coach Barnard was not gonna be back. He definitely won a lot of games. We’re looking forward to playing under Coach Barrale, but we’re not going to forget about those last three years under Coach Barnard.

“There’ll be some changes. Coach Barnard ran a pretty relaxed ship. I think Coach Barrale will not be quite as lenient about some things. It’ll be different, but it’ll be good. He’s a good motivator and he can teach the game.”

When did those rumors start? I never heard them. Barnard, after all, is tenured. Has the College ever fired a tenured faculty member, athletic or otherwise? Not that I know of. If Barnard did resign, then I would expect the College to say so in its press release. Consider the example of women’s ice hockey.

Williams College Athletic Director Harry Sheehy has announced that women’s ice hockey assistant coach Michelyne Pinard will serve as the Ephs’ interim head coach this academic year due to the departure of Neil Sinclair.

Sinclair recently left Williams to become the head coach of men’s ice hockey at Skidmore College.

This will be Pinard’s fourth year with the Williams women’s ice hockey team. She also serves the College as the head coach of women’s soccer and as an instructor in physical education.

Note two things. First, the College reports when coaches resign and, graciously, notes where they are going. The fact that no news about Barnard has come out tells us something. Second, in the case of hockey, the College was happy to name an interim coach (the current assistant) and then, a year later (and after an extensive search) name a new (different) permanent head coach. With baseball, the College moved much more quickly. Interesting.

(Note that the hockey situation is not a good parallel since Pinard was already the womens soccer coach and was, presumably, never a candidate to be the permanent hockey coach as well.)

The Eagle article, “Ephs’ Barnard out as baseball coach,” gets the important news in the headline but reporter Howard Herman is not able (yet?) to get more information from the College.

The Williams College athletic department has made some additions to its coaching staff. But it’s a subtraction that’s in the spotlight.

Bill Barrale has replaced Dave Barnard as head coach. Barnard leaves Williams after 13 seasons and a school-record 305 wins.

The release from the school did not say if Barnard resigned or was let go, and Williams athletic director Harry Sheehy could not be reached for comment.

I wonder if Herman will keep working on this story. I put a call into Harry Sheehy yesterday to try to set up an interview. I suspect that there is much surrounding Barnard’s departure that he will not be able to discuss, but he should be willing to answer questions about the new baseball coach and the future direction of the program.


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#1 Comment By 04 On July 11, 2006 @ 5:57 pm

Last I checked, coaches were non-tenured. Even if they’re at the College for an extended period of time, they remain assistant, and not associate (the college’s lowest tenured rank) professors of physical education. In that light, it’s less difficult to let a coach go.

#2 Comment By hwc On July 11, 2006 @ 8:10 pm

Was it the baseball team that had a visiting high school recruit hospitalized with alcohol poisoning this year?

#3 Comment By Anonymous On July 11, 2006 @ 10:15 pm

hwc, I think it was a basketball recruit.

#4 Comment By hwc On July 12, 2006 @ 12:53 am

Ahhh. OK. I thought I remembered a “b” team, but couldn’t remember which one. Common affliction with older alums, I guess…

I just figured that’s the sort of thing that could play into a change.

#5 Comment By eph06 On July 12, 2006 @ 6:18 pm

To my knowledge coaches can be tenured. If you want an interesting discussion of the topic ask a hockey player about Kangas.

#6 Comment By RyPay On July 18, 2006 @ 5:18 pm

Barnard butted heads with Sheehy for years over numerous things.
1)Barnard’s contract was supposedly not to be renewed a few years back but the team went on to win a school record 33 games. His contract was extended.
2)He consistently campaigned to get a new baseball field for years mainly due to the fact that the previous field, Bobby Coombs, had terrible drainage and many home games were moved to Wesleyan and Amherst even if there was the slightest shower days before. (It is also rumored that alum George Steinbrenner wanted to donate money to upgrade the football and baseball fields but the school would not take his donation because they didn’t want him to dictate where the donation should be allocated and he wanted the fields to have the Steinbrenner name.)
3)He pushed for the school to provide financial assistance to the baseball team for the annual Spring Break trip where the team plays more than half of its season due to poor weather conditions up north. Many players are on financial aid and do not have the $1000+ for lodging, airfare, and food. The only reason players were able to make the annual trips was parents and alumni donated money to help those in need. The school probably tired of him mentioning the billion dollar endowment and how they couldn’t spare some for the baseball team to represent the college in Florida/Arizona.
4)Barnard was also one of the more outspoken coaches in the community as seen on ephblog and made some comments in the past that some students found controversial.

I think the Athletic Department just got tired of dealing with him.