The contract negotiations for CSU Bakersfield men’s basketball head coach Rod Barnes came to an end on May 2.
After two months of contract discussions, Barnes received a five-year contract extension to the two years already on his current agreement, which will put Barnes under contract through 2023.
He also will receive a $75,016 pay increase.
“This portion has been two months in the making and I’m glad to have it over with,” said Barnes. “I’m excited and now we can kind of just move forward and accomplish some other goals and tasks that we have set for ourselves.”
Along with the five-year extension, Barnes’s salary increased from $146,484 to $221,500, includes a significant portion ($45,000 to $50,000) of private donations in addition to the funds that come from stateside.
Athletics Director Kenneth Siegfried said there is no buyout in the contract. The extension was announced last Monday, but the details of his new salary weren’t provided until a press conference in the Icardo Room on May 3.
Siegfried said it was a special day for CSUB.
“It feels amazing because of the person we are talking about in Rod Barnes and the whole family,” said Siegfried. “They have invested so much energy, effort and time into building this program. I think the best way to say it is it’s a special day.”
If Siegfried and Barnes spoke an hour every day, less than five minutes was spent on the terms of the contract or the salary. The focus was about how to raise the bar.
“That’s what the 95 percent of the conversations were about,” he said.
With the increase, Barnes became the second-highest paid person at CSUB second only to President Horace Mitchell ($367,000).
“I’m grateful and thankful for the commitment because I think it was needed,” said Barnes. “It’s not because it’s me but because it brings stability to our department and our program…We had two years left and to add five to that I just thought it showed the commitment from [Siegfried] and from the administration. As a coach or person, you feel like someone is committed to you, obviously, you have to be excited about that.”
Barnes led CSUB to its best season since moving to Division I. The Roadrunners finished 24-9 overall and won their first Western Athletic Conference Tournament Championship.
CSUB earned the 15th seed in the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament and played against No. 2 Oklahoma, which was a school that Barnes once coached for.
“It was fun because those people that were there once cheered for me,” he said. “There were friends that I had met when I was there. One of the guys that was on the staff was one of my former managers, so it was a lot of connection there but I also wanted to beat them. I couldn’t get too emotional about it but it was a good day.”
Barnes headed into the first round matchup against Oklahoma this year as the second-lowest paid coach out of 61 coaches in the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament. The highest paid coach was Duke University’s Mike Krzyzewski with $7,299,666 and Barnes was only ahead of North Carolina Asheville’s Nick McDevitt.
Now, with his increase to $221,500, Barnes would be 57 out of the 61 coaches. He would be ahead of Tennesse-Chattonooga’s Matt McCall, Austin Peay’s David Loos, Southern’s Roman Banks and McDevitt.
Siegfried said he felt some pressure from other schools to extend Barnes’ contract.
“I did have people request — I can’t say who — but I had [requests] to contact Coach Barnes,” said Siegfried. “But where I felt good about it is I know how close we are. I know we had the appropriate discussions well before we went to the NCAA tournament.”
Barnes said if the team doesn’t make it to the tournament next year he will be disappointed because it would be letting down the students, the department and the community.
“I saw young kids excited,” he said. “I saw elderly people stopping me, ‘thank you coach. We appreciate a good year.’ That does more to me than dollars. That does more to me than big buildings and arenas. That does something to me because I know we impacted them and that’s why I think I was called to be here.”
Barnes added he has a few goals to accomplish at CSUB.
Some of those goals are to increase attendance at home games, to have “white out” or “gold out” games, to have better teams come and play against CSUB and to build a new arena.
Mitchell said on gorunners.com that Barnes has contributed in so many areas.
“In addition to being an outstanding coach, Rod Barnes is an exceptional person who recruits and develops young men who represent our athletics program, university and community very well,” Mitchell said.
Siegfried said it is exciting to put the contract situation behind them and focus on continuing to raise the bar.
“I feel fortunate to have him here at CSUB, and I’m telling you he’s going to do some great things here,” he said. “We are all behind him and I know the community will continue to get behind him.”