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Barnes Joins Liberty Swimming Staff
Liberty Women's Swimming Head Coach Jake Shellenberger has announced the hiring of Jessica Barnes as an assistant coach for the 2010-11 academic year. Barnes joins the program as the first assistant coach in Liberty history, as the 2010-11 women's swimming team will begin its inaugural season this fall.
Barnes will become an official member of Liberty's staff on Aug. 25, 2010.
"We are incredibly blessed to have Jessica complete our first-ever staff here at Liberty," commented Shellenberger. "She comes to Liberty from the BIG EAST, where in her first year she recruited a tremendous class as the Rutgers assistant coach. This hire will put Liberty Swimming on the map nationally, and to have a coach with her swimming and coaching experience in our first few years will prove invaluable. Top tier athletes across the country should feel very comfortable looking at Liberty with the staff we have in place, and I am excited to see how far we can take this new program."
Barnes, who won two Big Ten team titles as an athlete for Penn State, comes to Liberty from Rutgers, where she served as an assistant coach since 2009. During her time with the Scarlet Knights, she coordinated all aspects of recruiting and developed a training plan for the sprinters. Her 2010 recruiting class at Rutgers earned honorable mention status from collegeswimming.com.
Prior to coaching at Rutgers, Barnes worked as an assistant high school swim coach for the State College Area School District in State College, Pa. While there, she designed and implemented a training program for sprinters, and coached the third-place finisher in the 50-freestyle event at the 2009 PIAA State Championship meet.
As a competitive swimmer, Barnes was a two-time honorable mention All-American in the 800 freestyle relay, was a two-time NCAA Academic All-American and a three-time Big Ten Academic all-conference member. She was also a Big Ten second team selection for the 800 freestyle relay in 2006, and won the Nittany Lion Award for Most Improved in 2007.
Barnes earned her bachelor's degree in elementary education from Penn State in 2007, where she was a seven-time Dean's List honoree.