By Jared Talbot | firstname.lastname@example.org
Now a month removed from his historic milestone, Dave Barnett just keeps on going.
In their game against Florida Tech on Feb. 22, he recorded his 900th victory as a head coach at Flagler College. He became the second member of the 900-club this season in NCAA Division II and the 11th acting coach within D2 to have reached this achievement. He is currently in his 31st season as the head coach at Flagler, but does not have plans to retire anytime soon.
“I hope to be able to coach long enough to bring Flagler College a National Championship in baseball,” he said.
Barnett is recognized as somewhat of a Flagler College legend, as in 2016 he was enshrined into the Flagler Athletics Hall of Fame. He was the all-time winningest head coach going into the season and continues to pad that number. He now finds himself coaching a team that is coming off three straight 30+ win seasons, which is a first since the 1990s at Flagler.
Being one of only 11 active coaches to have reached such an impressive milestone, most would be overjoyed at the achievement. However, Barnett does not think of it that way. “Regarding my milestone, I really don’t think much about that. I reflect on the relationship and talents of the players I have coached through the years and their accomplishments after they graduate from Flagler,” he said.
After the retirement of Head Basketball Coach Bo Clark this past year, Barnett finds himself the coach with the longest career at this college. He recognizes that he may be looked at that way, but he doesn’t dwell on it. “I guess I am the ‘senior’ coach on our staff, but enjoy being around the other coaches and administrators who put in the time to help with our success within our program,” he said.
He continues to lead Flagler’s baseball team as it is currently ranked No.11 in the nation according to the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Division II Top 30 with a record of 23-5. With a decent amount of season left ahead of them, the team is hoping for a deep run in this year’s tournament.
Upon being asked whether he believed all of this was possible and whether he believed he could do all that he has done, he remained humble in his response. “I was fortunate to receive an opportunity at Flagler to be a head coach at a relatively early age of 30,” he said. “It was a young program I was hoping to build on. Yet, I felt I would coach long for the love of the game and the players I have been able to coach. It’s been a labor of love.”