The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma has turned to a coach with nearly 25 years of experience in the sport of volleyball to lead the Drover program forward in 2017. Richard Barker, who most recently served as the head coach for the Bacone women’s volleyball team in 2015, will take over duties as USAO’s newest coach.
“Richard Barker is a good fit for moving our volleyball program forward,” said Brisco McPherson, USAO Director of Athletics. “We are gaining a well-connected volleyball coach who can maximize the skill development of our current student-athletes as well as recruit new, talented students to our school.”
Barker began his volleyball coaching career in 1997 at nearby Calumet High School before later leading teams at Tulsa’s Cascia Hall Preparatory School and Owasso High School. Barker won the Class 4A state title in 2004 with Cascia Hall and then the Class 6A state title in 2008 at Owasso.
He later moved to Nevada where he took over as head coach at Pahrump Valley High School and worked with the University of Nevada-Las Vegas as assistant coordinator for camps and clinics. He then accepted his first college head coaching job to build the Colorado Northwestern Community College volleyball program where he stayed until retiring in 2012.
Barker’s retirement was short-lived as he later accepted an invitation to become interim head coach for one year at Bacone University in 2015.
“I would like to thank President (John) Feaver, Brisco McPherson and (vice president) Sid Hudson for their confidence in me to lead this program," Barker said. “This is a great time to be a part of USAO athletics and I am eager to take the volleyball program to the next level. USAO is committed to athletics and the volleyball team's success, both on and off the court. I look forward to furthering the university's mission in excellence both athletically and academically.”
Barker has also coached various club teams, including OK Premier, Oklahoma Edge, Paragon, Nevada Juniors and Oklahoma Edge. Additionally he has conducted and participated in high school and college volleyball camps throughout the United States. He most recently volunteered to assist in the installation of a volleyball program at Amber-Pocasset.