Rick Barnes, head coach of the University of Tennessee men’s basketball team, spoke at Freed-Hardeman University Thursday, April 27. FHU’s Sports Advisory Council hosted the dinner to raise funds for the university’s intercollegiate athletic programs.
Barnes, who just completed his second year with the Volunteers after almost two decades at Texas, delivered a message of how his family keeps him grounded in his faith. He credited his wife, Candy, and his two children, Nick and Carly, with helping him set new priorities about 10 years ago.
Barnes also had a special message for fans attending the benefit. “I would like for them to understand how important Freed-Hardeman is to this community, and it can be even better if they want to make it better,” Barnes said. “We’re at a time where I do think athletics is the front porch of any university and any college.”
Barnes served one year as an assistant at the University of Alabama under Coach Wimp Sanderson, father of FHU basketball coach Jim Sanderson. Jim introduced Barnes to the SAC crowd. FHU Athletic Director Mike McCutchen led the athletic staff and students in hosting the fundraiser.