Utah State University Vice President and Director of Athletics John Hartwell announced Monday the hiring of Coleman Barnes as USU’s new assistant vice president and deputy director of athletics for external affairs.
“We are thrilled to welcome Coleman Barnes and his family to our Aggie family,” said Hartwell. “Coleman’s proven fundraising prowess and leadership skills will help us continue to push the needle of success higher in revenue generation, brand awareness and consistency in managing all of our external constituents.”
Barnes, who will officially begin his duties at Utah State on July 12, will lead USU’s athletic development staff, including the Big Blue Scholarship Fund and Aggies Unlimited. He will also oversee USU athletics external departments, which include marketing and promotions, media relations, ticket sales and Aggie Sports Properties.
“I am humbled to join the Aggie family and appreciate John’s willingness to welcome my family to beautiful Logan,” said Barnes. “I look forward to working with each external unit to implement the best strategy to increase revenues that will enhance the student-athlete experience and lead to championships.”
Barnes comes to Utah State after spending the past four years at Miami University, where he served as the associate athletics director/senior director of development for 3 1/2 years, before being promoted to executive associate athletics director/senior director of development this past January.
During his time at Miami, Barnes served as a co-manager for the Graduating Champions Campaign, raising more than $65 million toward the $80 million goal. In 2015, Barnes’ team raised a then-record $28.3 million in gifts and pledges, including $5.02 million in cash.
Barnes has also boosted Miami’s Red and White Club membership to more than 2,000 members, a 27 percent increase since his arrival in 2013, and has increased revenue by 24 percent, up to $880,000 per year.
Prior to Miami, Barnes spent two years at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), as the associate athletics director for development. Barnes oversaw Blazer Boosters, the fundraising unit for UAB Athletics, increasing the annual fund membership by 54 percent through a 16-month initiative.
Prior to UAB, Barnes served as the executive director of The Bulldog Foundation and associate athletics director for development at Fresno State from 2008-11. As an executive administrator, Barnes oversaw all components of the development office that raised approximately $6 million annually. He also managed a development team that successfully secured funding for a $6 million sports medicine center and a $1.2 million turf project.
From 2005-08, Barnes served as the assistant director for the UMAA Foundation, the fundraising unit for Ole Miss Athletics, playing an integral role in raising nearly $13 million annually.
Prior to Ole Miss, Barnes was a development associate for the Hurricane Club at the University of Miami (2004-05) and an intern in the Harvard University Athletics Ticket Office (2003-04).
Barnes graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in education from the University of Kentucky in 2002 with a major in kinesiology and a minor in business. He was also a three-year letterwinner as the long snapper on the Wildcats’ football team. In 2004, Barnes earned a master’s of science degree in kinesiology with an emphasis in sport management from Kentucky. He will complete his Ph.D. in higher education from Ole Miss in August.
A native of Bardstown, Kentucky, Barnes is married to the former Mary Beth Justice and the couple has two children, Caroline (6) and William (5).
Doug Hoffman is the associate athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.