Coach Barnes took over as the men's tennis head coach in 2002 and the women's head tennis coach in 2003. Since then, Barnes has worked on strengthening the Warhawks' schedules and on improving the playing level of the teams. Both teams each boast one of the toughest Division III schedules in the Midwest, playing several Division I and Division II schools along with many of the top Division III schools in the region. He has also hit the recruiting trail hard. With several new players and benefiting from a strong schedule and intense tennis training, the Warhawk tennis teams have both moved up the rankings. Both teams have held ITA rankings each of the last six seasons with Coach Barnes at the helm and have become teams on the national scene. Each team is now consistently receiving national team rankings and have individuals ranked as singles and doubles players.
Both teams have recently been experiencing some of the best years in team history. The men have not lost a conference match in the past five seasons, have had four consecutive 20 win seasons, and received three consecutive berths to the NCAA tournament, making it to the sweet 16 in 2007. The women just had a banner year with another WIAC conference title, second consecutive 20 win season and back to back trips to the NCAA tournament.
Due to the recent success at UW-Whitewater and Coach Barnes' commitment to growing the game of tennis in the Midwest section, Barnes has been honored with several awards. In 2004, 2007, and 2008 he was named WIAC coach of the year. He was named the 2006 USTA/ITA Community Service Award winner in the Midwest section. He was also the recipient of the USTA Midwest WTA Rollie Mueller Presidents award in 2006. In 2009 he was awarded the USPTR Wisconsin Member of the Year. As a teaching professional he was named K-Swiss national coach of the year in 2001 and 2002. Coach Barnes speaks regularly at tennis conventions around the Midwest and currently is serving on the ITA tennis regional ranking committee as well as serving on the men’s and women’s ITA tournament committees.
Coach Barnes is also the Warhawk Tennis Camps director, which is one of the top summer tennis camps in the nation. He spent ten years as a tennis professional in Madison, Wisconsin. There he was the director at Nakoma Country Club in Madison, growing it to the largest summer program in the area. He has his USPTR certification and was a tennis professional at Cherokee Country Club during those years. He has actively competed in state and regional sanctioned tournaments. He was the founder and key organizer of Madison's all-city tennis tournament. Coach Barnes has also started a USPTR certification program here at UWW. Finally he has started a club team at UWW. UWW is the only Division 3 School in the Midwest Section that offers a club team.
Coach Barnes stresses academic success as a part of the Warhawk tennis program. The men’s and women’s tennis teams at UW-Whitewater have been recognized the past four seasons as ITA All-Academic Teams and consistently have more than half of their team achieve ITA All Scholar Athlete Status by achieving GPA’s of 3.5 or higher. “I’ve been lucky enough to work with 16 Chancellor Scholar athletes and 3 WIAC scholar athletes during my time here. The work they put in on and off the court is amazing and I feel it’s been a privilege to work with such a talented group of young men and women. I hope by being a part of our program here they are able to become better prepared for the next chapter of their lives”
Coach Barnes attended the University of Wisconsin where he received his Bachelor of Science degree majoring in economics, statistics, and actuarial science. Barnes worked as an underwriter in Sheboygan, WI before returning to Madison where he worked as an actuary for five years at CUNA Mutual Insurance. Coach Barnes began coaching Madison West's boy's and girl's high school teams on the side until the head pro job opened up at Nakoma. He then made the full time transition to a teaching professional, and ended up taking the UW-W position a few years later. Coach Barnes is married to Suzanne and they share their favorite pastime together--spending as much time they can with their young daughters Annie and Lucy.