Steve Barnes Promoted to Associate Head Coach at Penn State

Steve Barnes was promoted to the associate head coach at Penn State after being the assistant for six seasons. Photo Courtesy: Penn State Athletics

Steve Barnes has been promoted to associate head coach of the Penn State swimming & diving teams, head coach Tim Murphy announced Friday.

Barnes has served as a Nittany Lions assistant coach for the past six seasons, joining the program along with Murphy in 2013. Penn State has seen consistent success throughout his tenure, as both the men’s and women’s teams have scored at the NCAA Championships each year and both teams have placed in the Top 30 at NCAAs in five out of the last six years.

“We are pleased to recognize Coach Barnes for his many contributions to Penn State swimming & diving,” said Murphy. “He has earned this distinction with his tremendous passion for our program and excellence in mentoring and supporting our student-athletes.”

During Barnes’ tenure, two medalists have earned four medals at the NCAA Championships, including 2016 Olympian Shane Ryan’s silver (2014) and bronze (2015) medal performances in the men’s 100 backstroke and Ally McHugh’s silver (2018) and gold (2019) in the women’s mile. In total, 24 Penn State student-athletes have earned All-America honors on 80 occasions, with seven of those earning 11 first-team nods. They have also captured one relay and eight individual Big Ten Championships.

“I’m excited for the new position and the chance to continue to work with the swimming & diving teams at Penn State as we move the program forward,” said Barnes. “I would like to thank [Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics] Sandy Barbour, [Deputy Director of Athletics] Lynn Holleran and [Assistant Athletic Director] Jenn James for the support and confidence in me to make an impact in the daily lives of our student-athletes.

“Tim Murphy has been instrumental over the past six years in his guidance, belief, and mentoring to help me reach the next level of my career, and I will be forever grateful. Last, but not least, I want to thank the past and present student-athletes for their support and trust, and I look forward to helping them achieve their goals moving forward and making a lasting impact within the community and the program at Penn State.”

While the Nittany Lions are looking to compete on the Big Ten and NCAA stages as usual during this upcoming season, Barnes is also working with select Lions in preparation for the 2020 Olympic Trials. This past summer, five different Nittany Lions totaled Olympic Trial qualifying swims in 11 different events.

The Penn State swimming & diving teams have also excelled in the classroom, as the women’s team has extended its run as a College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association (CSCAA) Scholar All-America team to 16 semesters, while the men’s team has earned the distinction following the last six semesters and nine out of the last 10.

Penn State opens its 2019-20 season Friday, Oct. 4 at 2 p.m. in McCoy Natatorium, hosting Liberty (women) and St. Bonaventure (men & women). Admission is free.

— The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with Penn State Swimming and Diving. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact