By: Angela Caraway-Carlton
Sports at Barry University in Miami.
Barry University has a lot to boast about when it comes to sports, with almost every Buccaneer athletic department dominating in their arena. Most impressive —Barry is the first school in the Sunshine State Conference to win a championship in every sport it offers.
The private Catholic university, which is situated in Miami Shores, boasts 12 varsity teams, including baseball, basketball, golf, soccer and tennis; and women’s basketball, golf, rowing, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball, who all proudly wear the colors of red, black and silver.Their athletic program is one of the most competitive in NCAA Division II.
Over the years, the Bucs have celebrated some extraordinary victories and memorable milestones. They’ve walked away with a remarkable 16 NCAA Division II Championships and 65 conference titles. They also tout 259 All-Americans, over 380 Scholar All-Americansand 9 NCAA "Women of the Year" finalists, the most of any Division II school.
“ The most exciting part of the program has been the opportunity to see all the success that Buccaneers have enjoyed on and off the field of competition,” says Dennis Jezek, Jr., sports information director at Barry University.“ In addition to all the awards and championships our teams have won over the years, our graduates have excelled in many facets of life, becoming doctors, lawyers, business owners, coaches, administrators, teachers, nurses and even professional athletes.”
While all of Barry’s athletic departments shine, the Buccaneers really stand out on the tennis court where they have become national power players. The men’s and women’s tennis teams share five combined National Championships and have also finished runner-up seven times between the two.
The tennis teams have also snagged a combined 21 Sunshine State Conference championships. The 2013 (29-0) and 2015 (26-0) men’s tennis teams are the only two teams in school history to post undefeated/untied records. The women’s tennis team has made 25 consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament, and the men have made 22.
Of course, the leaders of the teams also get major credit; Barry’s coaches have claimed 50 Sunshine State Conference “ Coach of the Year” awards and eight national “ Coach of the Year” awards.
From the tennis court to the soccer field, the Barry women’s soccer team knows how to rule their sport too. The Bucs captured three national championships in 1989, 1992 and 1993 and have also won a conference record 7 SSC titles. Along the way, Kyllene Carter (1990) and Erin Jaeger (1993) were both named national player of the year.
One of the biggest sports names to come out of Barry is Yan Gomes, the starting catcher for the Cleveland Indians. Not only is Gomes one of only two Major Leaguers to come from the Barry program, he is the first Brazilian-born player to ever play in the big leagues. While Gomes was at Barry, he was a consensus NCAA Division II All-American in 2009. And while he never graced the basketball court at Barry, NBA great Shaquille O’Neill earned his doctorate degree in education from the university in 2012.
Barry prides itself on being one of the best on the playing fields, but the university also focuses on teaching faith and friendly competition to student-athletes. “ Each sport program acknowledges the presence of God through wholesome and clean competition, comradeship among participants, good sportsmanship, and equality of opportunity exclusive of one's sex, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religious affiliation,” explains Jezek. “ Athletics serves as a vehicle by which the university extends its presence in the community.”
For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit gobarrybucs.com.
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