Saturday was a big day for Tennessee’s men’s basketball head coach.
Rick Barnes picked up his 700th career victory as a head coach on Saturday with Tennessee’s 75-53 win over Jacksonville State. The Vols struggled on offense in the first half, but they put together a much better second half to cruise to a 22-point victory.
And with that victory came a celebration.
The win improved Rick Barnes’ career record to 700-367 all-time. He became just the 23rd coach in Division I men’s basketball history to earn his 700th career win, and he’s one of only nine active head coaches in men’s college basketball with 700 or more career wins. It also gave Barnes his 96th win as Tennessee’s head coach, improving his overall record with the Vols to 96-53.
After the game, Barnes greeted his players in the locker room for his usual post-game speech. But his players had a different idea.
Instead of sitting and listening to Barnes, Tennessee’s players doused their head coach with water and cheered, chanting “700” while clapping as Barnes wiped himself off. Barnes then told his team he wanted them to have a good Christmas break and to take things easy.
Once he met with the media, Barnes called the achievement a “blessing from God” and said he was thankful for all the opportunities he’s had.
“I thank God for the game of basketball, for the opportunities,” Barnes said. “I’ve had the ability to be at some great universities, work with awesome coaches, and coach talented players. It’s just a blessing from God.”
Here’s full video of the post-game celebration:
SEVEN HUNDRED 👏👏👏👏👏 pic.twitter.com/9GbmF3IMWh
— Tennessee Basketball (@Vol_Hoops) December 21, 2019