NATCHITOCHES – After a five-year stint as Alabama’s third base coach, former Demon great Bobby Barbier returned to the Northwestern State baseball team as its pitching coach, head coach Lane Burroughs announced on Monday.
Barbier's hiring is subject to the approval of the Board of Supervisors of the University of Louisiana System, which includes Northwestern State.
“We could not be more ecstatic about Bobby coming back home and rejoining the Family,” said Burroughs. “He has fined tuned his skills as a coach and recruiter in the toughest league in the country and under someone I greatly admire in Mitch Gaspard.”
“I can’t thank Coach Burroughs and Mr. (Greg) Burke for having me back,” said Barbier. “NSU is a special place for me, and I am happy I can move my family back to Natchitoches.”
The 2004 CoSIDA Academic All-American was also the Crimson Tide’s running game coordinator and outfield coach. In his five seasons at Alabama, the Crimson Tide reached the NCAA Regionals four times, including the Super Regionals in 2010.
Prior to Alabama, he spent two seasons at NSU working with the infielders.
“Bobby’s personality, communication skills and knowledge of the game make him an absolute rising star in our profession,” said Burroughs. “This transition should be seamless considering he wore the purple and orange and already knows everyone on campus and in the community.”
Barbier, a All-Southland Conference first baseman for the Demons, helped Ben Moore rank eighth in stolen bases (16) among Southeastern Conference players in 2013, and was the most since Taylor Dugas in 2010 (19).
He wrapped up a remarkable four-year playing career in 2006 with the Demons, where he earned two All-Southland Conference honors. He completed his career being listed in the school’s top 10 in eight offensive categories, including the school record in hit-by-pitches with 44.
He ranks fourth on the all-time runs batted in list with 130; ninth with 181 hits; fifth with 209 games played; eighth with 33 doubles; and ninth with 267 total bases.
“I’ve always had a belief that you surround yourself with folks smarter than you, and Bobby is definitely in that category having been an Academic All-American and the son of a coach,” said Burroughs. “He has intelligence and a work ethic that will make Northwestern State better each day.”
In 2004 he became just the eighth student athlete in NSU history to be named Academic All-American, and hit .293 that season with a team-high nine home runs.
“I am very fortunate to have my family back in Natchitoches,” said Barbier. “Not everybody gets the chance to coach where they put their own blood, sweat and tears in for so man years.
“I am just ready to get to it and help my alma mater win a championship,” he said.
Barbier earned his bachelor’s degree in health and human performance in December 2006. He is married to Kody (Sprout) Barbier, and has daughter, Landry Claire.
“Northwestern State is fortunate to have Bobby, Kody and Landry back in Natchitoches, and I can’t wait to see our players working with Coach Barbier on a daily basis.”