The former University of Texas women’s soccer assistant coach will take over as head coach of the GW women’s soccer program, director of athletics Patrick Nero announced today.
Sarah Barnes’ hire follows the November announcement that former Colonials head coach Tanya Vogel will step down from the post after 12 years in the position to assume an administrative role at the University.
“Sarah emerged from an extremely strong pool of candidates as the ideal coach to head our women’s soccer program at this time,” Nero said. “She was an exceptional player as a student-athlete at the highest levels of collegiate competition, and has since proven to be an astute strategist and coach both in terms of maximizing the development and output of her team, as well as in preparation to face our opposition. Our student-athletes will benefit greatly from Sarah’s mentorship abilities both on and off the soccer pitch.”
Over her past four years with the Longhorns, Barnes worked with the program at every level both on and off the field, including involvement with recruiting and video analysis. UT advanced to the NCAA tournament in three of the last four seasons, and overall, as a player and coach, Barnes has been involved in 17 of the last 18 NCAA tournaments, including three combined trips to the College Cup as a player at Connecticut in 1994 and 1997, and as an assistant coach in 2003.
A graduate of the University of Connecticut, Barnes spent 10 seasons on staff at UConn under long-time head coach Len Tsantiris. She worked for two seasons as a volunteer coach from 1998 to 1999, seven as an assistant coach from 2000 to 2006 and one as the associate head coach in 2007. During her tenure with the program, UConn posted a 167-57-17 record, advancing to the NCAA tournament each season. With Barnes on the sidelines, the Huskies made eight trips to the Third Round of the tournament, six trips to the quarterfinals, and advanced all the way to the College Cup championship game in 2003. She also helped coach the Huskies to six Big East Regular Season Championships and two Big East Tournament Championships.
“I am extremely excited to assume this role at GW,” Barnes said. “Not only is there a strong base of student-athletes already in the program, but to have the George Washington name behind me when I’m recruiting players to come play in the nation’s capital is incredibly promising. I have been fortunate to have learned the game as a player and in an assistant capacity at two of the top schools in women’s college soccer, so I know that Tanya Vogel has left this program in a great place for me to achieve our lofty goals in the Atlantic 10 and beyond.”
Barnes was a senior co-captain of the 1997 UConn squad that reached the NCAA national championship game, and in her four years as a student-athlete at Connecticut, the Huskies posted a record of 83-14-2, including a school record 23 wins in her senior season. As a senior, and co-MVP of her team, Barnes was named to the All-Big East Second Team.
Barnes, a sociology major, was enrolled in UConn’s honors program, graduating magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in May 1998. She also enrolled in graduate school in the sociology department at UConn, earning her master’s degree with a dual emphasis on social psychology and women in sports in 1999.
Barnes holds a National Soccer Coaches Association of America Advanced National diploma, an NSCAA goalkeeping certificate and a U.S. Soccer Federation “D” license. She spent two years on the Region I Staff for the Olympic Development Program, working with the under-14 and under-16 age groups. Barnes was also an assistant and head coach for the Connecticut Olympic Development Program, and the Connecticut Junior Soccer Association named her the Thomas E. Krusewski Memorial Young Coach of the Year in 2006.