This one has been floating out there for a while (especially since Kevin Nickelberry has already replaced R-Jay Barsh at FSU). Here’s the official statement from the Zags announcing the addition of R-Jay Barsh to Mark Few’s staff:
Gonzaga Athletic Director Chris Standiford and men’s basketball Head Coach Mark Few announced the hiring of R-Jay Barsh, as an assistant coach on the Zags’ coaching staff.
Barsh was most recently an assistant coach under Leonard Hamilton at Florida State. Barsh is a veteran with more than 15 years of coaching experience.
“R-Jay is another great addition to the program,” Few said. “He’s a real positive upbeat man of faith. He has a lot of experience all over the country and has been a head coach. He’s from the northwest, worked in the northwest, and has worked at the highest level of college basketball. He’s going to be great for our program.”
Prior to his one season at Florida State in 2022-23, Barsh was an assistant coach under Leon Rice at Boise State for three seasons where he helped lead the Broncos to the 2022 NCAA Tournament as they set program records for total wins (27), conference wins (15), and consecutive wins (14) on their way to winning the Mountain West regular-season title outright and capturing the Mountain West Tournament championship.
“I believe it’s important to have mentors in your life and I am thankful for Carl Howell, Leon Rice, Leonard Hamilton and Fred Crowell, these four men have been integral parts of my coaching and life journey,” Barsh said. “They have all prepared me for the unique and special opportunity I’m walking into. With purpose, passion, and responsibility, I look forward to bringing my joy of life and winning to the Gonzaga Family. It feels good to be home!”
Boise State became just the fifth team in the history of the Mountain West Conference to win both the outright regular season championship and the conference tournament championship in the same season in 2022. During his time as an assistant coach at Boise State, the Broncos averaged 22 wins from 2019-20 to 2021-22. On the strength of its sensational season, Boise State earned a No. 8 seed in the 2022 NCAA Tournament. Barsh also helped Boise to the quarterfinals of the NIT in 2021.
Prior to his tenure at Boise State, Barsh spent the previous seven seasons as the head coach at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Fla. While with SEU, he led the Fire to three NAIA Division II National Tournament appearances, the first for the program in school history. In his second season, SEU went 27-7 and reached the NAIA Fab Four during its first postseason tournament run, ultimately earning Barsh a nod as a finalist for the Don Meyer National Coach of the Year Award. Barsh also led the Fire to tournament appearances following the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons.
Barsh helped lead Tacoma Community College to three Western Region titles in four seasons and an NWAACC championship in 2012. The Titans also made the Elite 8 in the NWAACC Tournament in 2009. Prior to TCC, he spent one season at Lincoln High School (Tacoma), where he helped guide the school to the state’s Final Four and a record of 26-5.
Barsh also served as an assistant coach at the University of Puget Sound, his alma mater, from 2005-07. In his first season with the Loggers, the program finished with a 26-5 mark and a NCAA D-III Elite Eight appearance.
Barsh played collegiately for TCC from 2001-03, where he helped lead the Titans to a record of 30-3 and an NWAACC title (2001-02). He was an all-conference honoree the following season.
Barsh earned his bachelor’s degree in communications from UPS in 2007.
He and his wife, Christy, have two sons, Carson and Greyson.