The Wilberforce University athletic department is prepared to name Roosevelt Barnes as its head baseball coach marking the return of collegiate baseball competition for the first time since 1940. The university’s search for a head coach led to Barnes, the current high school head baseball coach at La Salle in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Wilberforce is excited to bring Coach Barnes in as the new head baseball coach. His experience in building a program, his connections to the Cincinnati Reds organization, the Reds Youth Baseball Academy, and numerous tournament titles, regional championships, and multiple appearances in Major League Baseball’s Urban RBI World Series make him a great choice.
Barnes, who loves the game of baseball, will set a milestone for the program because he expects his players to compete on the field and in the classroom.
Barnes will be greeted with finding a roster, a practice facility, putting together a coaching staff, and building the program before the 2023 season starts.
Roosevelt Barnes has been instrumental in placing several students in collegiate baseball programs across the country. He also has worked closely with the Reds scouting department to discover Major League Baseball draft prospects.
A Wilberforce graduate, Barnes coached the Reds RBI senior team to a World Series championship this past August and set in motion the connection between the university, the Reds, and the Reds Community Fund to bring baseball back to Wilberforce.
The Cincinnati native played collegiate baseball at the University of Cincinnati under coach Richard Skeel. He was an infielder for the Bearcat team.
Barnes received recognition for his commitment through advancements made at the Cincinnati Reds Youth Baseball Academy, where he has been a coach and instructor since 2005.
Barnes considers himself to be an ambassador to the sport of baseball and advocates for young men both on and off the field.
Since 2016 he has been responsible for getting over seventy-five student-athletes into college to play baseball. He was recently named a Recommending Scout for Cincinnati Reds in 2021 and is the recipient of the Owen Wrassman Award for philanthropy.
Coach Barnes is currently the head baseball coach at La Salle High School in Cincinnati, which competes in the historic GCL Conference. Barnes is the school’s and conference’s first African American baseball coach. The conference has produced many MLB draft picks over the years.
Roosevelt Barnes is the right hire to lead Wilberforce and bring back baseball after an 80-year hiatus.
Barnes and his wife, Dr. Kellie Barnes, reside in Blue Ash with their five children.