William F. Barnes
Biographical details
Born(1917-10-20)October 20, 1917
Cape Girardeau, Missouri
DiedApril 23, 2009(2009-04-23) (aged 91)
Santa Monica, California
Playing career
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1941Tennessee (assistant)
1946–1949Arkansas (assistant)
1950–1958UCLA (assistant)
Head coaching record
Accomplishments and honors
2 AAWU (1959, 1961)

William F. Barnes (October 20, 1917 – April 23, 2009)[1] was an American football player and coach. He served as the head football coach for at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) from 1958 to 1964. He guided his teams to a 31–34–3 (.478) record including two seven-win seasons in 1960 and 1961 and an appearance in the 1962 Rose Bowl.

Early life, playing career, and military service

Barnes was born in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. He played high school football for Central High School in Memphis, Tennessee.

Barnes played college football at the University of Tennessee under coach Robert Neyland. He was a member of the 1939 Tennessee Volunteers football team that went through the regular season without allowing a point to be scored. This team was invited to play in the 1940 Rose Bowl, where they lost to USC, 14–0.

Barnes served during World War II and was assigned to the Alamo Scouts. He earned two Bronze Star Medals, a Silver Star, Legion of Merit, a Philippine Ribbon and an Alamo Scout Commendation, and earned the rank of Major.

Coaching career

Barnes served as an assistant football coach at the University of Arkansas. He then came to UCLA to serve as an assistant coach for Henry Russell "Red" Sanders in 1950. When Sanders died of a heart attack shortly before the 1958 season, fellow Bruins assistant George W. Dickerson was named the head coach. Before the season began, Dickerson had been admitted to the UCLA Medical Center with "nervous exhaustion" on August 30, 1958.[2] Dickerson returned to coach on September 11, and coached for three games as head coach, losing to #21 Pittsburgh on September 20, winning at Illinois, then losing 14–0 at Oregon State. Barnes was named acting head coach for the October 10, 1958 game against Florida. Dickerson had been admitted to the UCLA Medical Center late the previous evening, again suffering from nervous exhaustion.[3] Barnes was the head coach for the UCLA Bruins football team from 1959 to 1964. He guided his teams to a 31–34–3 (.478) record. He did have two Conference (AAWU) Championship seasons in 1959 and 1961, and lead the 16 ranked Bruins to the 1962 Rose Bowl. Three of the assistant coaches from the 1954 national championship season later served as head coaches for the Bruins: Dickerson, Barnes, and Tommy Prothro. Both the late coach Sanders and assistant coach Prothro also were from Tennessee.

After going 10-20 his last three seasons, Barnes resigned after the 1964 season after learning that athletic director J. D. Morgan was not going to renew his contract.[1][4]

Later life and honors

After leaving UCLA, Barnes became a National Football League (NFL) scout. He later became a real estate developer. Barnes died at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica at the age of 91. He was survived by his wife Frances, to whom he had been married for 62 years. The couple had no children.[1]

Barnes was inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame in 2001.[5]

Head coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
UCLA Bruins (Pacific Coast Conference) (1958)
1958 UCLA 2–4–1 2–3–1 6th
UCLA Bruins (Athletic Association of Western Universities) (1959–1964)
1959 UCLA 5–4–1 3–1 T–1st
1960 UCLA 7–2–1 2–2 3rd
1961 UCLA 7–4 3–1 1st L Rose 16
1962 UCLA 4–6 1–3 5th
1963 UCLA 2–8 2–2 3rd
1964 UCLA 4–6 2–2 4th
UCLA: 31–34–3 15–12
Total: 31–34–3
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title or championship game berth


  1. ^ a b c Foster, Chris (April 25, 2009). "Bill Barnes dies at 91; UCLA football coach led Bruins to 1962 Rose Bowl". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 25, 2009.
  2. ^ Wolf, Al - Dickerson's Condition Improves. Los Angeles Times, September 2, 1958. George Dickerson, new head football coach at UCLA, was reported "progressing well" yesterday at UCLA Medical Center, after being admitted Saturday suffering from nervous exhaustion.
  3. ^ Wolf, Al - UCLA'S DICKERSON ILL, OUT FOR YEAR. Barnes in Charge of Grid Team. Los Angeles Times, October 10, 1958. George Dickerson, UCLA head football coach, late yesterday' was readmitted to the UCLA Medical Center after suffering a "bad setback" from the nervous exhaustion which hospitalized him just before the season began.
  4. ^ Murray, Jim - The Barnes Door Shut. Los Angeles Times, December 22, 1964
  5. ^ "Tennessee Hall of Fame". Archived from the original on October 19, 2007. Retrieved December 2, 2007.


  • UCLA Football Media Guide (PDF Copy available at www.uclabruins.com)
  • Wolf, Al - SPORTRAITS: Barnes Smart Football Man. Los Angeles Times, October 11, 1958. Bill Barnes, moving up to become UCLA's head football coach for the rest of the season Thursday when nervous exhaustion again struck down George Dickerson, is a pleasant, smallish fellow of 40