EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE has named Brian Barone as men's basketball interim head coach pending final Board of Trustee approval. An assistant coach for the Cougars over past two seasons, Barone will begin directing the program following Jon Harris, whose contract was not renewed after four seasons.
"Brian has been impressive during his two years in the program, has related to our student-athletes and support staff, and will serve as the interim head coach moving forward," said SIUE Director of Athletics Dr. Brad Hewitt. "Brian's knowledge of our current student-athletes, our recruits and the OVC will be beneficial. With extensive Division I experience, Brian brings the recruiting, coaching and strategic skills necessary to compete in the OVC."
"I appreciate the confidence from Dr. Hewitt and SIUE in my ability to lead this program," Barone said. "I believe we have the necessary systems in place to compete at the top of the OVC. I look forward to working with our current coaching staff to connect with our recruits and reaffirm the commitments that we have. I am completely in alignment with our department's commitment to graduate student-athletes who become successful contributors to our community."
Assistant Coaches Charles "Bubba" Wells, Mike Waldo and Director of Operations Casey Wyllie also will return to the SIUE staff.
The native of College Station, Texas began his Division I coaching career at Illinois State under head coach Porter Moser. He spent four seasons (from 2003-07) as an assistant coach for the Redbirds where he helped reestablish a program that had just eight wins the year prior to his arrival.
"Having both coached and worked with Brian, I can tell you firsthand how much his work ethic and enthusiasm is contagious," said Moser, who guided Loyola Chicago to a spot in the 2018 NCAA Final Four. "People have always fed off his energy and leadership. He has been at the center of a lot of great cultures as a player and a coach. Being the son of Hall of Fame Coach Tony Barone, my college coach and mentor, and having coached for over 15 years at Division I, his connections run deep. SIUE is getting a leader with vision, knowledge and passion to make it happen."
Barone became director of basketball operations/video coordinator at Indiana University in 2008 under head coach Tom Crean after serving the 2007-08 campaign as the coordinator of basketball operations and video coordinator at Marquette.
"Brian Barone is not only an outstanding basketball coach and teacher, but a phenomenal person," said Crean, now the head coach at Georgia. "In the 20 years that I have known Brian, he has shown tremendous toughness, perseverance, intelligence and a fierce loyalty to his players, peers, friends and certainly his family. He has the mindset and bloodlines of a pure winner and has an outstanding future."
He joined former Marquette teammate and current Bradley head coach Brian Wardle at Green Bay for five years (2010-15) and eventually rose to associate head coach. During that time, Barone was part of a staff that helped guide the Phoenix to a 95-65 (.594) overall record. In 2014-15, Green Bay posted a 24-7 (.774) record and claimed the Horizon League's regular season championship.
"Brian was born to be a head coach," Wardle said. "He has the natural ability to relate to his players and teach at the highest level. He is loyal, hard-working and a great basketball mind. He is an all-around coach that will fill the roster with high-character, talented players who will play an exciting brand of basketball. SIUE should be very excited."
Barone also has experience in the junior college ranks, with coaching stops at Butler Community College, Garden City Community College and Central Florida Community College.
As a player, Barone played two seasons at Texas A&M where he earned honorable mention all-Big XII honors as a sophomore following the 1997-98 season. Barone transferred to Marquette and completed his playing career in 2001.
Barone earned a bachelor's in communications from Marquette in 2000 and completed a master's in communications at MU in 2002.
Barone and his wife, Mimi, have a son, Carson, and three daughters, Ava, Gianna and Cecilia.