Skyler Barnett enters his third season as head coach of the Milligan baseball program.
In 2021, the Buffs posted their winningest season in a decade with a 27-23 overall record and fourth-place finish in the Appalachian Athletic Conference standings. The Buffs earned four wins over ranked opponents, including a 2-1 extra-inning victory over No. 1 Tennessee Wesleyan on April 3. Freshman pitcher Brandon Marello finished ranked 13th in the NAIA in ERA (2.04) and 44th in innings pitched per game (6.03).
In his first year at the helm of the program, Barnett’s team was tied for first place in the AAC and had an overall record of 14-8, winning seven of the team’s last nine games before the season was canceled early due to the covid-19 pandemic.
Barnett joined Milligan’s athletics staff as head baseball coach in May 2019. A native of Johnson City, Barnett comes most recently from Walters State Community College where he served as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator.
Barnett has a wealth of experience in the region and at multiple levels of intercollegiate competition. Prior to serving on Milligan alumnus David Shelton’s staff at Walters State, Barnett served as a volunteer assistant at East Tennessee State University, his alma mater. Prior to ETSU, he was the recruiting coordinator at Carson-Newman University (2015-17) and an assistant coach at Austin Peay State University (2014-15).
Barnett served as a graduate assistant at Lincoln Memorial University from 2013 to 2014, helping the school win the South Atlantic Conference for the first time in 54 years. This followed a successful playing career during his time as a student-athlete at ETSU.
“I’m excited for this opportunity to work for Milligan, a school with a purpose and mission I can get behind,” Barnett said upon the announcement of his hiring. “Growing up in Johnson City, this is a great opportunity for me to come back home, impact lives and help students earn a degree. I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to be here; I believe it’s my calling.”
As a student-athlete at ETSU, Barnett played catcher and served as team captain his senior season (2012), receiving All-Academic honors from the ASUN Conference in his final three seasons. Barnett also was a recipient of the commissioner’s medal for academic achievement.
Barnett earned a bachelor’s degree in sport management from ETSU in 2012.