Greenville College men's basketball coach Dr. George Barber has been named the 2015 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's Lee McKinney Distinguished Service Award winner. Barber recently completed his 29th season as a member of intercollegiate athletics, including the last 16 with Greenville College.
Dr. Barber has a long history of guiding student-athletes both on and off the court. He began his career as an administrative assistant for the University of Kentucky men's basketball program where he was part of a staff that won the 1996 NCAA Division I National Championship. He then moved on to Bradley University as an assistant coach for three years before arriving at Greenville College in 1999.
Dr. Barber currently serves as not only the head men's basketball coach at Greenville but is a faculty member in the Health, Physical Education, and Recreation department. He is a member of the NCAA Division III men's basketball committee and has represented the SLIAC on various national and regional levels. Dr. Barber is second in career coaching wins in Greenville men's basketball history and his teams have won six SLIAC Team Sportsmanship awards. During his head coaching career he has had 24 players earn SLIAC All-Conference honors while also coaching two NCCAA All-Americans.
Dr. Barber organizes the Panther Basketball Academy, an event that brings 200 students to campus each summer, and held numerous individual and team summer camps. He has led international basketball trips for his teams to countries such as the Czech Republic, Bolivia, and Costa Rica; and coached an NCCAA All-Star team that competed overseas. In addition he helps create, promote, and oversee the annual Special Olympics day at Greenville College.
Dr. Barber, a 1986 graduate of Asbury College, completed his Master of Science in Education from the University of Kentucky in 1989 and a doctorate in education from the University of Kentucky in 1995. He is a member of the Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AHPERD), the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), and a NABC Division III Congressman.
About the Award - The Lee McKinney SLIAC Distinguished Service Award is presented annually to the individual that has served or competed in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and best exemplifies the qualities of leadership, dedication, service and perseverance displayed by longtime Fontbonne University director of athletics, Lee McKinney.
Dr. McKinney served as director of athletics at Fontbonne for 23 years, seeing the athletics program at the institution grow from three teams and 19 student-athletes when he arrived in 1988 to 19 teams and over 350 student-athletes at the time of his retirement. Dr. McKinney was instrumental in the formation of the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference as he joined representatives from Blackburn College, Maryville University, Parks College, Principia College and Webster University in chartering the Conference in September 1989.
During his years of service to the Conference, Dr. McKinney chaired the SLIAC Administrative Council and represented the Conference nationally, serving on the NCAA Management Council, Financial Aid Committee and Nominating Committee.
Dr. McKinney, who was a two-time cancer survivor, passed away on April 4, 2011. He had dedicated countless hours of service to local community organizations and raising money for various charities, mainly the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Coaches vs. Cancer.