Reggie Barnes enters his first year as Director of Speed Development for WCO70 Sports. He is an established sprint, hurdle and jump technician who has coached for 18 years on the club, high school, collegiate and professional levels. After a 23-year career as a higher education administrator, Reggie transitioned out of the field in 2019 to train athletes full-time. With 12 years of past competition experience, he is a former high school All-American and collegiate All-Conference hurdler and jumper whose career was cut short by injuries. Reggie is a Certified Fitness Trainer, Strength and Conditioning Coach and long-time Sports Performance Coach
In high school, Reggie was a member of track and field powerhouse North Rowan High School (Spencer, NC), which was coached by Hall of Famer and National Coach of the Year, Robert Steele. While at North Rowan, Reggie was a nine-time All-State Selection in the 55-meter high hurdles, 110-meter high hurdles and triple jump and was highly ranked nationally his senior year in all three events (1991). He also has the distinction of being part of the only trio of 50-foot high school triple jumpers competing at the same school at the same time (1991), which is still a national record. During the summer, Reggie ran for the Durham Striders Track Club (Durham, NC) where he was a seven-time AAU and TAC (now USATF) All-American in the 110-meter high hurdles, triple jump and 4×100 Relay (1989-1990) as well as an AAU national qualifier in the long jump (1990).
As a highly-recruited student-athlete, Reggie chose to attend NC State University (Raleigh, NC). After sustaining a serious knee injury in the fall of his freshman year, he went on to become U.S. Junior Nationals Champion in the 110-meter high hurdles and was chosen to represent the U.S. at the World Junior National Championships in Seoul, South Korea (1992). He finished his collegiate career as a four-time ACC All-Conference selection in three events. However, injuries prevented him from achieving his goal of competing in the 1996 Olympic Games.
Reggie has worked with athletes of all ages in various sports. As the former Field Events Coach at Long Island University (Brooklyn, NY), he coached eight All-Conference athletes, five school record-holders and one NCAA national qualifier (triple jump). He currently serves as Co-Head Track and Field Coach for Cardinal Gibbons High School (Raleigh, NC). In 2020, he founded First Step Performance, LLC to help develop the next generation of dynamic student-athletes in all sports. He has been fortunate to coach several state and national qualifiers, All-Americans, state and national champions. Most importantly, he has helped athletes successfully navigate the college recruitment process and earn scholarships to compete on the next level. He has coached athletes who are currently competing or preparing to attend various universities across the country, including Virginia Tech, Vanderbilt University, University of Kentucky, UNC Chapel Hill, UNC Wilmington, UNC Pembroke, Winston-Salem State, Western Carolina, Eastern Carolina, Johnson C. Smith and Barton College.