Barbier named ABCA Central Region Coach of the Year

Bobby Barbier

Bobby Barbier’s personal trophy case filled up a little more Monday afternoon.

Coming off a history-making season, Barbier collected his third Coach of the Year award as the American Baseball Coaches Association named him the organization’s Central Region Coach of the Year.

“I feel like all of these Coach of the Year awards I’ve been fortunate enough to get should be named Staff of the Year,” said Barbier, who completed his second season as his alma mater’s head coach in June. “They put in a ton of hours to make sure not only do we recruit the right kind of player but also develop them, which is huge at Northwestern State. I also want to thank our players for all the hard work they put in that led to this recognition.”

Barbier, an All-Southland Conference first baseman and Academic All-American during his Demons playing career, oversaw a record-setting turnaround season for the Demons, who won the program’s first Southland Conference Tournament championship and reached the NCAA Regionals for the first time since 2005.

He returned to the pitching coach role after a one-year absence, and the NSU pitching staff posted a 3.41 ERA, which ranked 18th nationally.

At the NCAA Corvallis Regional, the Demons went 1-2, blanking San Diego State, 9-0, for the program’s first NCAA postseason shutout and its largest margin of victory in a regional game.

Northwestern State set a school record by winning 18 more games than it did in 2017, finishing 38-24, its most victories since 2005. Barbier was a junior on the 2005 squad that finished 41-20.

Barbier earned the Clay Gould Southland Conference Coach of the Year honor in May and added the All-Louisiana Coach of the Year nod in June after taking an NSU squad that was picked to finish 11th to a third-place regular-season finish and the SLC Tournament crown.

“Bobby deserves every honor that comes his way, though he modestly deflects the attention that recognition of this type brings,” NSU Director of Athletics Greg Burke said. “The bottom line, however, is that he was entrusted two years ago with the reins of our baseball program and has made the most of that opportunity. I am happy for him and know how fortunate we are to have him leading Demon baseball.”