HAMMOND, La. – The Southeastern Louisiana University baseball program ushered in a new era Monday, naming veteran coach and Louisiana native Bobby Barbier as the 18th head coach in school history.
An introductory press conference is slated for 1 p.m. Wednesday in the Victory Club at Strawberry Stadium.
In the search for a new leader of the Southeastern baseball program, Athletic Director Jay Artigues was looking for someone who would help the Lions reach higher levels of excellence in all aspects of being a student-athlete. Artigues believes he found the right person to take Southeastern to new heights in Barbier.
“I’m really excited about bringing in a coach the caliber of Bobby Barbier,” Artigues said. “He is a proven winner and a first-class individual in every way. Bobby has all the intangibles, and experience, to lead our baseball program to be a consistent contender in the Southland Conference year in and year out. I couldn’t be more excited about having Bobby Barbier as a head coach.”
Barbier, whose hire is pending approval of the University of Louisiana System’s Board of Supervisors, comes to Hammond with 17 years of collegiate coaching experience – including five in the SEC. Barbier replaces Matt Riser, who enjoyed a 10-year stint at the helm of the SLU program.
“I think the tradition of Southeastern Baseball is well-known throughout the country and I’m so glad to be part of it,” Barbier said. “I want to thank Dr. John Crain, Dr. William Wainwright and Coach Artigues for believing in my family and me, and bringing us into the fold. There is a lot of interest in Hammond and Southeastern from players and coaches. I’m excited to get started.”
A Northwestern State alum, Barbier spent five seasons as an assistant coach on the staff at Alabama before returning for a second stint at his alma mater.
While a member of Mitch Gaspard’s Crimson Tide staff, Barbier helped coach Alabama to four regional appearances from 2010-14, including the Atlanta Regional championship and a berth in the 2010 Clemson Super Regional.
Barbier’s responsibilities at Alabama included coaching outfielders, assisting with catchers and infielders, directing camps and scouting and being heavily involved in recruiting. He also served as the staff’s academic coordinator. Barbier was a key contributor on the field as Alabama’s defense set a school record for fielding percentage in 2011.
Upon returning to Northwestern State, he served two seasons as the Demons’ pitching coach before taking over the helm from Lane Burroughs. Barbier has led Northwestern State to a 181-169 overall record over the last seven seasons.
He engineered the largest single-season turnaround in program history — a jump of 18 wins — leading to the Demons’ first Southland Conference Tournament championship ever and first NCAA Regional appearance since Barbier’s junior season (2005) as a player.
Over the course of his coaching career, Barbier has mentored 32 players that were selected in the MLB Draft. Eight of those players have gone on to earn playing time at the Major League level.
Entering the 2023 season, a Northwestern State pitcher has been selected in each of the last four drafts with the latest being Johnathan Harmon, who went in the 13th round to Cincinnati in 2022. Harmon followed Levi David (2021, New York Mets), Logan Hofmann (2020, Pittsburgh) and Nathan Jones (2019, New York Mets) as pitchers Barbier has helped guide to the MLB Draft.
He has coached four All-Americans, seven Freshman All-Americans and a pair of CoSIDA Academic All-Americans. Three of his players have earned ABCA All-Region honors and two were awarded gold gloves by the ABCA. His All-Conference players number 51 and another 14 have been selected to the Southland All-Academic squad.
Twice his players have been named the Southland Conference Baseball Student-Athlete of the Year. He has also coached a Southland Player of the Year, Pitcher of the Year, Hitter of the Year and Newcomer of the Year.
Barbier was a four-year letter winner at Northwestern State, wrapping up his career ranked in the Top 10 of eight statistical categories. During his Demon playing career, he set the program’s career record for HBPs, was named a CoSIDA Academic All-American, earned first-team honors on the Southland’s All-Conference squad and was named the conference’s baseball Student-Athlete of the Year.
The New Orleans native played both high school baseball and football at Archbishop Shaw in New Orleans, earning All-State, All-District and All-Metro honors on the diamond. He also was part of two American Legion state championship teams.
Barbier earned both a bachelor’s degree (2006) and master’s degree (2008) in health and human performance from Northwestern State. He is married to the former Kody Sprout and the couple has one daughter, Landry.