Gulfport natives takes reins of Mississippi Valley baseball program

Milton Barney
Milton Barney Jr.

Gulfport native son Milton Barney Jr. is moving up to the college ranks as a head coach.

Mississippi Valley State University announced Thursday that Barney will become the seventh head coach in the program’s 66-year history.

“What we are going to do here is change the program, the culture,” said Barney. “We want to compete, and we want to get kids in here that really want to be here.”

Barney will be introduced at Mississippi Valley State at 11 a.m. August 19 in the President’s Suite of the R.W. Harrison HPER Complex.

Barney’s coaching career has played a part in many championships, winning a SWAC Championship as an assistant at Alcorn in 2011, bringing Harrison Central High School softball to the Mississippi State High School Finals, and overseeing his 8–10-year-old youth organization that he runs win five World Series during his tenure.

Barney has a rich family history in sports. His father, Milton “Slick” Barney Sr., starred at Alcorn before spending a season with the Atlanta Falcons as a wide receiver in 1987 and then playing in the Arena Football League in 1991 where he was named AFL Ironman of the Year and First Team All-Arena for the New Orleans Night.

His grandfather is HBCU legend and NFL Hall of Famer Lem Barney, who spent 10 years with the Detroit Lions. He also earned seven pro bowls whiel accumulating 56 interceptions and 10 defensive touchdowns after starring at Jackson State.

Barney did not play football but was a three-year letterman at Grambling from 2008 to 2010 on the diamond after a stellar high school career at Gulfport High. He finished with a .310 batting average with 114 hits, 96 runs, 61 walks, 55 RBIs, 30 doubles, 27 steals, and five homers over 108 ballgames while capping off his senior season with Grambling State’s first baseball championship in 25 seasons in 2010.


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