Barnard announced as head coach at Penn State Altoona

More news about: Penn State-Altoona
ALTOONA, Pa. - Penn State Altoona Athletics has announced the hiring of RJ Barnard as the Interim Head Coach of its baseball program.
Barnard, who graduated from Penn State Altoona and played for the Lions from 2006-2009, becomes the program’s second head coach since it was reestablished as a varsity sport at the campus in 1997. He served as the team’s assistant coach for the past two seasons.

"I am both excited and honored to take over the head coaching duties at my alma mater," said Barnard. "I will work tirelessly to try and put Penn State Altoona baseball back on the map. Although we are very young, I am expecting us to be very competitive this year."

Barnard, a native of Hollidaysburg and graduate from Hollidaysburg Area High School, started all 167 games during his four-year collegiate baseball career at Penn State Altoona. A second baseman during his playing days, he still sits near the top of many all-time records for the Lions baseball program, including being ranked second in games played and started (167), runs scored (134), stolen bases (50), and assists (329), as well as third in at-bats (563), hits (197), walks (67), and triples (8). During his senior campaign in 2009, Barnard helped the Lions win their first-ever Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III South Region Championship.

Barnard’s coaching career began in 2010, when he joined the coaching staff for the Flood City Elite travel baseball program. After four years with Flood City Elite, he was hired as the assistant baseball coach at Penn State Altoona in September 2014.

“RJ has been involved with our baseball program for six years combined as a player and an assistant coach. I look forward to him running the program this season,” said Penn State Altoona Director of Athletics Brent Baird. “I feel confident that his passion for Penn State Altoona baseball will help him immensely this season.”

Penn State Altoona baseball competes in the NCAA Division III and is a member of the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference. The program was resurrected in 1997 after a five-year hiatus from competitive play, and it transitioned into NCAA membership beginning with the 1999 season. Since becoming an NCAA member, the Lions have won AMCC titles in 2000 and 2011 and an ECAC regional championship in 2009. The team earned a berth into the NCAA Division III Tournament in 2011, when it became the first team in Penn State Altoona history to win an NCAA Tournament game.