Steve Barsby: GC Tennis Legend

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Steve Barsby has coached the GC men’s and women’s tennis teams for the past two decades. He amassed an incredible 596 wins over the course of his career.

Heading into his 21st year as the leader of GC tennis, Barsby is one of the most successful college tennis coaches in recent history.

Originally born in Ontario, Canada, Barsby attended college at Troy University in Alabama. After playing tennis for the school, he eventually graduated and took over as head coach of both the men’s and women’s teams.

The Troy alumni coached his former team for two years before moving on to a job at Brock University in his home province. However, it did not take long for the future GC icon to make his way to Milledgeville.

In the late summer of 2000, Barsby came to GC to begin a memorable legacy.

“When I first got here, the women’s team was really good,” Barsby said. “We probably had two of the best players that ever played here. They were both four-time All-Americans, and the rest of the team was great as well.”

Barsby has won over 300 women’s tennis matches during his time at GC. He also has over 250 wins with the men’s teams.

“For my first men’s team here, I inherited one senior and seven freshmen that had never met each other. It was fun because we were all in the same spot. Everyone was new.”

A few years later, that rookie squad would eventually make the NCAA tournament with Barsby at the helm.

From his first day on the job, Barsby emphasized the importance of a balanced lifestyle. He truly wants the best for his athletes on and off the court.

Any time Barsby meets with a potential recruit or future player, he tells them, “If you leave here and all you know is tennis, then I have done a bad job.”

Most of all, Barsby prioritizes personal relationships with his players over anything else.

GC athletic director Wendell Staton explained the impact Barsby has had on his players and the program.

“I have worked in college athletics for 31 years, and he is the best person I have ever seen when it comes to relationships with his players,” Staton said. “I have never seen anything like it in my life. Even after his players graduate and leave him, the way that they stay in each other’s lives is extremely powerful. What he does is rare.”

Barsby’s involvement in the lives of his players has created an incredibly tight-knit culture that has spread throughout the entirety of GC athletics.

GC junior Emma Fleming has loved playing on the women’s tennis team for Barsby.

“Coach motivates me and my teammates to work hard on the court and in the classroom,” Fleming said. “He wants us to give it our all, no matter the result. He has supported us through highs and lows, and I have really enjoyed playing for him.”

Throughout his career, Barsby has been named PBC Coach of the Year for both men’s and women’s tennis. He ranks 10th among active coaches in all-time women’s tennis victories, and he ranks 17th among all coaches.

The GC tennis icon has also coached 28 All-Americans, including GC hall of famer Erick Siqueira and current star player Matt Rogel.

Despite his countless awards and achievements, Barsby only cares about one accomplishment.

“Our greatest ‘accomplishment’ is when the kids who come here love Georgia College when they leave,” Barsby said.

Barsby wants his players to stay connected to the school more than anything. Through the care he has shown his players over the course of his career, he has been a true inspiration to many.

Heading into another spring tennis season, the coaching legend continues to serve as an embodiment of GC culture.