William F. Barnes

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Bill Barnes - Southern Campus 1960.jpg
Sport(s) Football
Biographical details
Born (1917-10-20)October 20, 1917
Cape Girardeau, Missouri
Died April 23, 2009(2009-04-23) (aged 91)
Santa Monica, California
Playing career
1937–39 Tennessee
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1958–1964 UCLA
Head coaching record
Overall 31–34–3
College Football Data Warehouse

William F. "Bill" Barnes (October 20, 1917 – April 23, 2009)[1] was the head football coach for UCLA from 1958 to 1964. He guided his teams to a 31–34–3 (.478) record. He did have two seven win seasons in 1960 and 1961, leading the Bruins to the 1962 Rose Bowl.

Early life[edit]

He was born in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. He played high school football for Central High School in Memphis.

College football player[edit]

He played college football at Tennessee under coach Robert Neyland. He was a member of the 1939 Tennessee Volunteers football team that went through the regular season without allowing a point to be scored. This team was invited to play in the 1940 Rose Bowl where they lost to USC 14–0.

Military service[edit]

He entered World War II, and was assigned to the Alamo Scouts. He earned two Bronze Star Medals, a Silver Star, Legion of Merit, a Philippine Ribbon and an Alamo Scout Commendation, and earned the rank of Major.

Football coach[edit]

He served as an assistant football coach at the University of Arkansas. He then came to UCLA to serve as an assistant coach for "Red" Sanders in 1950. Sanders died of a heart attack before the 1958 season. George Dickerson was named the head coach. Before the season began, Dickerson had been admitted to the UCLA Medical Center with nervous exhaustion on August 30, 1958.[2] Dickerson returned to coach on September 11, and coached for three games as head coach, losing to #21 Pittsburgh on September 20, winning at Illinois, then losing 14–0 at Oregon State. Barnes was named acting head coach for the October 10, 1958 game against Florida. Dickerson had been admitted to the UCLA Medical Center late the previous evening suffering from nervous exhaustion.[3] Barnes was the Head coach for the UCLA Bruins football team from 1959 to 1964. He guided his teams to a 31–34–3 (.478) record. He did have two seven-win seasons in 1960 and 1961, leading the Bruins to the 1962 Rose Bowl. Three of the assistant coaches from the 1954 National Championship season would serve as head coaches for the Bruins: Dickerson, Barnes, and Tommy Prothro. Both Head coach Sanders and Assistant coach Prothro also were from Tennessee.

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
UCLA Bruins (PCC/AAWU) (1958–1964)
1958 UCLA 2–4–1 2–3–1 6th
1959 UCLA 5–4–1 3–1–0 T–1st
1960 UCLA 7–2–1 2–2–0 3rd
1961 UCLA 7–4–0 3–1–0 1st L Rose Bowl 16
1962 UCLA 4–6–0 1–3–0 5th
1963 UCLA 2–8–0 2–2–0 3rd
1964 UCLA 4–6–0 2–2–0 4th
UCLA: 31–34–3
Total: 31–34–3
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
#Rankings from final Coaches Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.

Post coaching[edit]

He resigned after the 1964 season after learning that Athletic Director J.D. Morgan was not going to renew his contract.[1][4] After leaving UCLA, he became an NFL scout. He later became a Real Estate developer.[1]


Barnes died at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center at the age of 91. He was survived by his wife Frances, to whom he had been married for 62 years. The couple had no children.[1]


He was a 2001 inductee to the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d Foster, Chris (2009-04-25). "Bill Barnes dies at 91; UCLA football coach led Bruins to 1962 Rose Bowl". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  2. ^ Wolf, Al - Dickerson's Condition Improves. Los Angeles Time, September 2, 1958. George Dickerson, new head football coach at UCLA, was reported "progressing well" yesterday at UCLA Medical Center, after being admitted Saturday suffering from nervous exhaustion.
  3. ^ Wolf, Al - UCLA'S DICKERSON ILL, OUT FOR YEAR. Barnes in Charge of Grid Team. Los Angeles Times, October 10, 1958. George Dickerson, UCLA head football coach, late yesterday' was readmitted to the UCLA Medical Center after suffering a "bad setback" from the nervous exhaustion which hospitalized him just before the season began.
  4. ^ Murray, Jim - The Barnes Door Shut. Los Angeles Times, December 22, 1964
  5. ^ "Tennessee Hall of Fame". Archived from the original on 2007-10-19. Retrieved 2007-12-02. 


  • UCLA Football Media Guide (PDF Copy available at www.uclabruins.com)
  • Wolf, Al - SPORTRAITS: Barnes Smart Football Man. Los Angeles Time, October 11, 1958. Bill Barnes, moving up to become UCLA's head football coach for the rest of the season Thursday when nervous exhaustion again struck down George Dickerson, is a pleasant, smallish fellow of 40