Molly Barnes enters her seventh season as the head coach of the Cal State Northridge women's water polo program. During her previous six seasons, Barnes has compiled a 93-103 record against the strongest competition in collegiate water polo.
During the 2007 season under Barnes' direction, the Matadors enjoyed a strong season. The Matadors finished the year ranked 15th in the nation. There were many individual successes. Allison Brookes was named Honorable Mention All-America by the American Collegiate Water Polo Coaches Association. Brookes and freshman goalkeeper Jillian Stapf earned All-MPSF conference honors, the first of their kind in Matador water polo history.
The Matadors were also outstanding in the classroom in 2007. Nine women were named Academic All-Americans by the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches.
During the 2006 season, Barnes guided the Matadors to a 12-21 overall record with only four returners from the 2005 squad. They finished 12th in MPSF action with a 1-11 mark and remained in the Top 20 for the duration of the year.
Barnes finished her fourth season with a 17-18 record, a ninth-place regular-season finish in the MPSF and an eighth-place ranking in the league tournament. CSUN posted wins against six ranked teams, including victories over UC Irvine (April 28) in the MPSF Tournament, road wins at San Jose State (Feb. 18) and San Diego State (March 13) and a home triumph against Arizona State (April 23). The Matadors also claimed their first-ever MPSF victory against San Jose State.
In 2004, Barnes led the Matadors to a 19-14 record and a season-ending national ranking of 15th. In 2004, the Matadors won five games against ranked teams, including three victories over UC San Diego (Feb. 13, March 27 and April 17) and one each against Cal Baptist (Feb. 28) and UC Santa Barbara (April 9). They were also ranked in the Top 20 of the Collegiate Water Polo Association poll in nine of the 13 polls during the season, as well as in each of the last five rankings of 2004. Barnes led the Matadors to the first-ever win for the Cal State Northridge water polo program in its first game as the Matadors defeated Claremont 3-1 on Feb. 27, 2002.
In her six year tenure as head coach, Barnes has overseen the development of two All-Americans, Chari Christopher and Allison Brookes. Christopher joined the program in its second year of existence and graduated in 2005, and posted All-American honors in that season for her 74 goals and 31 assists. The 74 goals is a team record. Brookes earned All-American honors as a sophomore in 2006 and as a junior in 2007, joining Christopher as the only Matadors to surpass 70 goals in a season. Brookes notched 72 for the year.
Barnes was named Cal State Northridge's inaugural head coach on Oct. 24, 2001 after serving as assistant coach for the Loyola Marymount women's swimming and water polo teams from January 1998 to May 2000. From October to January, Barnes fielded a team in the most competitive water polo conference in the country, the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. As an assistant at Loyola Marymount, she helped lead the Lions' water polo team from their inaugural season in 1998 to an 18-13 record in 1999 and a trip to the collegiate nationals. As a volunteer coach, Barnes helped lead the Lions to a third-place finish and a trip to the NCAA Final Four in 2001.
Before her coaching days, Barnes was a two-sport athlete at UCLA. She played on two national championship water polo teams (1996-97) with the Bruins and was named defensive most valuable player during her sophomore season. Barnes was also a member of the inaugural UCLA women's soccer team and was a team captain in 1994. Before attending UCLA, Barnes went to California from 1992-93, where she was a redshirt on the women's soccer team.
A 1992 graduate of Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, Calif., Barnes was a five-sport athlete, participating in water polo, swimming, soccer, field hockey and basketball. She was named MVP of the swim team in all four years she competed. Other accolades Barnes earned included being a member of the swimming relay team which earned All-American and CIF champion honors. She was a part of field hockey and basketball teams which earned CIF runner-up status and in soccer, was named defensive most valuable player and most inspirational. Barnes was also a part of an elite class of National Scholar-Athlete recipients.
A graduate of UCLA, Barnes earned her bachelor of arts degree in sociology in 1997. In 2000, she earned an M.B.A. from Loyola Marymount. The Cupertino native was born on Feb. 24, 1974 and resides in Los Angeles.