The former Florida State and Boise State assistant coach will be replacing Roger Powell who was recently named the Valparaiso coach. R-Jay Barsh, originally from Tacoma, WA, was also the head coach at Southeastern University (NAIA) for seven seasons before making the jump to Division 1. During that time, he guided the Fire to the NAIA Fab Four and was named a finalist for the Don Meyer National Coach of the Year Award.
Prior to his tenure at SEU, R-Jay led Tacoma Community College to three Western Region titles and an NWAACC championship. Barsh was also an assistant coach at the University of Puget Sound, his alma mater.
Before even all of that, he spent one season at Lincoln High School in Tacoma. Barsh helped guide the school to the state’s Final Four and a 26–5 record.
Learning under Leonard Hamilton and Leon Rice during his proven 15-year coaching track record has piqued Mark Few’s interest and I totally see why.
In a press release, Few said, “R-Jay is another great addition to the program. He’s a real positive upbeat man of faith. He has a lot of experience all over the country and has been a head coach. He’s from the northwest, worked in the northwest, and has worked at the highest level of college basketball. He’s going to be great for our program.”
Welcome back to the Pacific Northwest, R-Jay!
Arden Cravalho is a Gonzaga University graduate from the Bay Area... Follow him on Twitter @a_cravalho