John Barnes

John Barnes

High School Coach

In the late 1920s, Barnes was a starting halfback on one of the era’s big time college football powers, Loyola University in the South. Loyola was coached by Clark Shaughnessy, a man credited with bringing the T-formation to football.

In 1931, Barnes became Canisius High School’s head football coach. Like his college mentor, he became known as an innovative tactician and for his winning ways. For 42 years, Barnes coached varsity football at Canisius, winning 287 games, against only 68 losses and 16 ties – a winning percentage of 77 percent. Barnes’ teams won 10 championships, and he still holds the record for most victories in high school football coaching for New York State.

Barnes also coached basketball at Canisius for 22 seasons, winning 342 games, as well as baseball for 34 seasons. In all, he coached all three sports for a combined total of 100 seasons at Canisius, where he also taught physical education for many years.