Steve Barnes Hired As 3rd Penn State Assistant; Simpson Named Wabash Coach

Former Wabash head swimming & diving coach Steve Barnes has left his role with the Division III school to join Tim Murphy’s new staff at Penn State.

Barnes will join Doak Finch, a former Virginia assistant, and Liz McMillan at Penn State in the staff under the new head coach Murphy from Harvard.

Barnes was the head coach at Wabash for four seasons, and last year finished 4th at the North Coast Athletic Conference Championships. This is the conference that houses the two Division III programs Denison and Kenyon.

Barnes is a 2005 graduate of Ithaca College, where he was a four-time All-American.

Taking over the program at Wabash College as the interim head coach is Logan Simpson, who has been an assistant women’s basketball coach and director of operations at his alma-mater Gardner-Webb since 2011. Wabash College has an all male student body.

“Logan Simpson takes over a first-rate swimming and diving operation,” Wabash Director of Athletics and Wellness Joe Haklin said. “Steve Barnes leaves a great foundation for success in the classroom and in the pool. We wish him well in his future endeavors. Wabash is now committed to continuing that progress by searching for the next great leader of the Little Giants swimming and diving program. That national search will begin immediately.”

Though Simpson immediately comes from women’s basketball, he is a more-than-capable fill-in. He swam for three years at CCSA power Gardner-Webb in Division 1 before being named the basketball’s Director of Operations even before graduation. Simpson has spent the last year serving as the head age-group coach for the Sharks Aquatic Club in Shelby, North Carolina, and having graduated in just 2012, is one of the youngest head coaches in the country, even if just on an interim basis.

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7 years ago

Congrats to Steve on this move.

Sad for D3 that 2 rising star head coaches have chosen to take assistant roles at mid-level D1 programs in the past month.

Reply to  Josh
7 years ago

Congrats Steve!!!

Penn State swimming is mid-level? Women 3rd at Big-Tens last year and the men 20th at NCAA’s with two relays top 8?

Walter Sobchak
7 years ago

SCUBA Steve! Look at you. SCUBA — SCUBA — SCUBA!!!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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