Team player goes from lineup to student coach

May 9, 2014 10:00 AM

Brooke Blankenship

Commencement Bar 2014

Senior Briggs Barrios

After playing outfielder for three seasons for the Green Wave, Briggs Barrios steps into a student coaching role when a hip injury prevents him from playing his senior year. (Photo by Parker Waters)

Briggs Barrios never experienced the “where on earth am I going to attend college?” panic that many high school seniors go through because he knew all along where he wanted to attend. Barrios followed right in his father’s footsteps, joining the Tulane University baseball team before the 2011 season.

“My family has a long tradition of attending Tulane,” Barrios says. “My dad played baseball here in the 1980s. Tulane provided me with an opportunity to get a great education and also play baseball, so I jumped at the opportunity. I have definitely not regretted my decision.”

Barrios’ dad, Gregg Barrios, is one of the top players in Tulane baseball history, having played for the Green Wave from 1981–83 before joining the Boston Red Sox organization’s minor league system. Emulating his father, Briggs Barrios proved to be very talented, starting half of the games that he played in.

His ability to play, however, was limited.

“My baseball career has been riddled with injuries. I have had many hip issues over the past four years, and it has been a struggle,” says Barrios, who had to retire from baseball before his senior season because of his injuries.

Instead of playing, Barrios has spent his final year using his knowledge of baseball and rapport with the players to aid the coaching staff. The Metairie, La., native will graduate on May 17 with a business degree in management.

“I was fortunate that Coach (Rick) Jones allowed me to stay on as a student coach this year,” Barrios says. “I don’t think he has ever had a player in this position before here at Tulane, and I am receiving a unique perspective of the game. As a player, you don’t realize how many hours the coaches put in off the field in meetings and preparing for each game and each practice.”

Brooke Blankenship is a student worker in athletics communications who will graduate on May 17 with a dual degree in business.

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Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000