Barnes, who won the 2016 Mid-American Conference title at 157 pounds just three months ago for the Mizzou Tigers, will remain in the same conference with his new coaching job, as Buffalo also wrestles in the MAC.
Le'Roy Barnes (Photo/Mark Lundy, Lutte-Lens.com)Barnes launched his wrestling career at Belton High School in Missouri, where he was a two-time Missouri state championship placer. He then spent two years at Neosho County Community College in Kansas where, as a sophomore, he won the 2013 NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association) title after placing third at the 2012 NJCAAs as a freshman. Barnes then transferred to Missouri, where, after a redshirt season, he competed for the Tigers for two complete seasons. After wrestling at 141 as a junior, Barnes moved up to 157 his senior year, where he compiled a 26-11 record, won the MAC title, and qualified for the 2016 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. During his time at Missouri, the Tigers won consecutive MAC team titles, and placed among the top five in the team standings at the NCAAs.
"Le'Roy is a tremendous hire for our program and comes highly recommended from Coach [Brian] Smith at Missouri," Stutzman said. "Having wrestled for Missouri and being a part of a program that has won multiple MAC Championships while producing National Champions, All-Americans and Olympians, his knowledge and energy is exactly what we need right now to continue moving our program forward. I am excited to bring him to Buffalo."
"The best thing about Le'Roy is that he believes in what we are doing here as he has seen the progress from the other side," Stutzman added.
Barnes is eager to move into his first collegiate coaching position.
"I'm excited to work with the wrestling team here at Buffalo," Barnes said. "The coaching staff is extremely motivated, the athletes are bought in and the administration gives this program what it needs to be successful. This team is headed in a great direction and I'm excited to contribute to that."