CORVALLIS – Scott Barnes was already detailing his plan for the future of the Beavers as he was introduced at Oregon State’s athletic director.
Barnes, hired as Oregon State’s vice president and director of intercollegiate athletics last week, said among his areas of focus are the academic success of student-athletes, the competitive success of the Beavers’ teams and developing new revenue streams.
“It’s really about a bigger vision,” Barnes said Thursday. “We are building for stability and sustainability in our programs.”
Oregon State President Ed Ray praised Barnes as a “proven performer.”
“We need someone at this point in time to help us move this program to the next level,” Ray said. “I honestly believe he can do this.”
A Spokane native, Barnes comes to Oregon State from Pittsburgh, where he served as athletic director for just over 18 months. He said he will remain in the position at Pitt until Feb. 12.
Barnes replaces Todd Stansbury, who was with the Beavers for a little more than a year before leaving in September to become the A.D. at Georgia Tech, his alma mater.
Barnes said he will not make wholesale changes at Oregon State at first, instead embarking on a “methodical assessment” before any changes are made.
Barnes, who replaced Steve Pederson at Pitt in April 2015, came to the Panthers after working in the same position at Utah State. During his tenure at Utah State, Barnes hired Gary Andersen as the Aggies’ football coach in 2009. Andersen is now the head coach at Oregon State.
On Thursday Barnes said he and Andersen are close friends. Just before Barnes was hired, Oregon State signed Andersen to a contract extension through the 2021 season.
Barnes has spent the majority of his life in the western part of the United States. He played basketball at Fresno State and has worked in various capacities at Humboldt State in California, Eastern Washington, Washington and Utah State.
The Pacific Northwest native said the locale contributed to his decision, as well as personal reasons, including a family illness. He also joked that the family has a dog named Benny – same as Oregon State’s Beaver mascot.
“To be back out in the Pacific Northwest is an absolute no-brainer,” Barnes said.
Oregon State features 18 sports with 535 athletes and an operating budget of $84 million, a slightly larger operation than Pittsburgh, which has 19 sports, 475 student-athletes and a $75 million budget.
“Our ability to be successful in the Pac-12 is something that creates a sense of urgency – and I’m excited about that,” Barnes said. “It’s a big time conference and Oregon States a big-time institution.”
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