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Worley Barker steps down as Texas Southern head coach

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Worley Barker has stepped down as the head coach at Texas Southern, the school announced on Friday afternoon.

Raven Rodriguez, who spent the last two years as Barker’s top deputy, will serve as the program’s interim head coach for the 2021 season.

Barker, who spent the last fifteen years as the program’s head coach, is pursuing a new career opportunity. Under Barker’s guidance, the Tigers have won ten straight SWAC Western Division titles and have reached the NCAA tournament three times. Barker won more than 300 games during his tenure at the school.

“It is with great sadness that I inform you that I have resigned as head softball coach at Texas Southern University for a new career opportunity,” Barker said in a statement. “It has been a pleasure and privilege to have had the opportunity to mentor and coach the talented young athletes who have been a part of the TSU softball program over the past 15 years. It has truly been an honor and I am proud to have had the opportunity to coach this current group of young ladies. I hate that I will not be a part of what we started last season, but I know the program will be in great hands.”

TSU athletic director Kevin Granger  said, “What Coach Barker has accomplished at TSU over the past 15 years has been unparalleled in terms of what has taken place on and off the diamond. TSU softball ranks as one of the top programs in the SWAC, region and state of Texas as that can all be attributed to him. He genuinely cared for his student-athletes and put them in position to be successful in life once they graduated from TSU. You can’t ask for anything else from a head coach as the bar has been set. I wish Coach Barker nothing but success in his next endeavor.”

The Tigers most recently played in the NCAA tournament in 2017, and posted an 8-14 record during the abbreviated 2020 season.

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