Barnes steps down as Carson basketball coach
The Bruce Barnes era at Carson High is over.
The fiery Barnes said he turned in his resignation to school officials Wednesday afternoon, bringing to an end a successful 11-year career which included three league titles and a state tourney appearance, all coming within his first five seasons of being on the head coach of the boys basketball team.
It also ended nearly a year of soul searching by the veteran coach to see if he still had the desire to coach. Barnes participated in both spring and summer basketball.
“Really, there is no main reason,” Barnes said Thursday afternoon. “I went back and forth about it. I thought about it for a year. I did spring and thought I might get my desire back. People knew I was thinking about it.”
Later in the conversation, Barnes admitted that being in charge of doing the schedule for all three teams and fundraising took their toll on him. He made sure the season schedule was done for this season before make his final decision.
“The coaching part of it I will miss,” Barnes said. “I don’t mind helping out here and there if I’m needed. I like being around the kids.
“The administration here at Carson was behind you 100 percent. That’s just a fact. There were a lot of people in the community who backed the program and I thank them for that.”
Barnes hated to lose, but more important to him was the development of players on and off the court.
“We’ve had attorneys, doctors, coaches, teachers and guys who have had careers in the military,” Barnes said. “We were state academic champions four times. It tells you the type of kids we had here in our program. They (past players) come back for open gym over Christmas breaks and it’s always good to see them.”
Carlos Mendeguia, Barnes’ longtime assistant, said he will apply for the head job. Mendeguia, a three-sport star at Carson and former football player at UNLV, would be the logical choice, given the fact he knows the program and returning players inside out.
“I’ll put in for it,” said the 41-year-old Mendeguia, who was Barnes’ right-hand man for the past 11 years. “I still have a lot of passion for the game. I tried to talk Bruce into staying for a couple more years.”