Men’s basketball head coach brings stability to the program

Head Coach Brian Barone was promoted from assistant coach of men’s basketball in March of 2019 and has since worked to build the program up. 

 

Tim Hall, the director of athletics, said Barone has brought stability to the program. Back in 2019, he was signed on to be the head coach for two years and Hall said Barone’s contract was extended to include two more years. 

 

“Brian did a good job as an assistant coach, and the guys on the team really liked him and believed in him and believed in his leadership. I thought he was the right fit at the right time, and that he would need more than two years. It's hard to turn something around in two years. So I gave him an additional two years on his contract. I'm going to give some additional years to try to make this successful,” Hall said. 

 

Shamar Wright, a junior guard, said Barone is a coach that actually cares about each of his players and that Barone has high expectations of each of his players. 

 

“I think he's a really good guy. That's one of the first things I noticed when I actually came to school here. He really knows how to reach a personal level and he's able to understand his passion behind everything he does,” Wright said. 

 

Wright said Barone is bringing the team together and trying to build the program up, making changes from where the team was last year. 

 

According to Hall, he sees Barone as an educator first and foremost. He said he believes that Barone's transparency and vulnerability allow Barone to be a good coach.

 

“He sees what he does as being a teacher and an educator and a molder of a developer of young men. He has a real sense of himself. Good leaders show their vulnerability and they can say, ‘I didn't prepare you well enough for that last game.’ People will get behind leaders that are authentic, and that show their vulnerability and their humanistic side and Brian [Barone] is very much that way,” Hall said. 

 

Barone said the best part of the current season is the ability to get back into a rhythm and routine after a season of canceled games and no practices. He said his main goal at the moment is to just get better every day than they were when they woke up that morning. 

 

“Our main goal is every day you want to be better than you know how you started today. I know that's kind of maybe an odd way of looking at it. If you can wake up every day, and accomplish enough to be better at the end of the day, then eventually that's gonna really pay off in the long run in terms of wins and losses, athletically and academically,” Barone said. 

 

Barone said one of the most important parts of his coaching style is the ability to listen, and since COVID, he said he has felt that is one of the main ways his coaching style has adapted to the current climate. 

 

“I think you definitely have to be able to pivot, to accommodate, to understand, to be empathetic.  I think it's very, very important to listen because it has been a very difficult year and hit people in different ways,” Barone said. 

 

Barone said the team is excited to get a real season this year and the chance to represent SIUE. 

 

“We're just excited to represent a great university and a great community. It's something that every day I take great pride in. You know, enhancing and building the brand of us as individuals but also as university and us as a community that something is very important to us,” Barone said.

 

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