Fifteen-time Minnesota state champion swim coach John Barnes will have to sit out his team’s first three meets – and the entire postseason – of next year’s high school season, the Star Tribune reported Monday.
Barnes, head coach at St. Thomas High School, was removed from the 2019 state meet before the final day of competition over alleged “inappropriate behavior.” The behavior was allegedly caught on video, according to the Tribune, but no one close to the case confirmed what the video showed.
The Minnesota State High School League dealt Barnes the 2020 postseason suspension and the school added the ban for the first three meets of the upcoming season. Barnes will additionally be required to participate in “professional development training, work with a mentor regarding coaching philosophy and methodologies, and be subjected to ongoing monitoring,” according to the Tribune.
The suspension stems from “behaviors toward and treatment of his student-athletes” during the 2019 Class 1A state meet in March, according to MSHSL Executive Director Erich Martens. St. Thomas finished fourth overall at the meet.
Barnes was named 2018 Coach of the Year by the National High School Athletic Coaches Association from among seven finalists. He has won 14 state titles with the all-boys St. Thomas team to date, and one at Minnetonka, according to his Blackline Aquatics bio.