Scottsbluff High School is proud to announce that Jim Barker, retired Scottsbluff Educator and Coach has been named a finalist for the NHSACA National Coach of the Year Award for Cross Country. Barker was nominated by the Nebraska Coaches Association. This national coach of the year awards program utilizes a scoring rubric developed by members of the NHSACA board of directors, all of whom are coaches, that evaluates every nominee in 6 categories. The categories are: longevity, championship years, winning percentage, service, honors and membership. This process is used by the individual national sport chairs and the executive director to identify the 8 finalists. The same process will be repeated with the scoring completed by members of the NHSACA executive committee to identify the Coach of the Year recipient.
With over 40 years of coaching experience, Jim Barker was named Head Boys Cross Country Coach in 1988. As head boys cross country coach at Scottsbluff High School, Barker has led his teams to eleven state championships since 1996, more than any coach in Nebraska history. In addition, the Scottsbluff boys accumulated five runner-up finishes. In his 28 years at the helm, the Scottsbluff boys qualified for state 26 times, finishing in the top four 22 times. Dedicated to the success and improvements of all on his team, not just the best, he also coached a number of highly successful girls cross country teams, including two state runner-up squads. He coached girls and boys track and field for nine years, including the 2012 boys team that won the Class B Championship and the 2013 and 2015 boys squads that placed second. He has earned Boys Cross Country Coach of the Year honors from the NCA three times, and bas been an NHSACA Region 6 Coach of the Year finalist twice, in 2007 & 2012 and was inducted into the Nebraska High School Hall of Fame in 2016. Jim’s motivation for his many successes centers around the former and current student-athletes he’s had the privilege and honor of working with at Scottsbluff High School in both cross country and track & field.
“We are very excited that Coach Barker has been named a finalist for the Coach of the Year Award,” said Dave Hoxworth, Scottsbluff High School Activities Director. “His successful coaching career, his love of coaching, and the tireless effort that he dedicated to the Scottsbluff Cross Country and Track and Field programs make him more than deserving of his honor. Coach Barker has always been a lifelong learner during his coaching career going above and beyond to attend clinics and strive to be the best coach he could be for the students of Scottsbluff.”
Coach Barker has been invited to attend the NHSACA national convention this summer in Sioux Falls, SD from June 23-27. During the convention, the 8 national finalists will be asked to make presentations that will look at the elements of their programs that created a successful environment for their athletes. They are also invited to the National COTY Awards Banquet where they will be recognized as one of 8 finalists. Each finalist will be brought to the awards stand individually with a short biography of their accomplishments is read and will receive a finalist plaque. At the conclusion of the banquet, the national coach of the year recipient in each sport will be announced.