Former K-State coach, administrator Barrett dies

Former Boston Celtics forward Ernie Barrett, who starred at Kansas State and invested 75 years at the school as a professional athlete, coach and administrator, died Friday in his hometown of Manhattan, Kansas. He was 93.

Barrett’s family announced his death. A funeral is scheduled for Thursday at Bramlage Coliseum, where the Wildcats play their basketball games and where a banner acknowledging Barrett’s accomplishments hangs from the rafters.

“He concerned visit me before every house game and was exceptionally inviting to me and my personnel in our very first year,” stated Kansas State guys’s basketball coach Jerome Tang, who led the Wildcats on a surprising Elite Eight run this previous season. “No one liked this university and its basketball group more than him.”

Barrett was a Kansas school child legend in the 1940s, when he led Wellington High School to its only state championship in basketball. He was hired by Phog Allen to play at Kansas and Henry Iba to go to Oklahoma State, however he ended up going to Kansas State and playing for Hall of Fame coaches Jack Gardner and Tex Winter.Barrett led the Wildcats to the championship game game in 1951, where they lost to Adolph Rupp and Kentucky.Barrett was chosen by the Celtics with the seventh choice in the 1951 draft, however he deferred his NBA profession to spend two years in the Air Force. He wound up playing 2 seasons for Red Auerbach along with Celtics terrific Bob Cousy.The pull of Barrett’s university was strong, though, and he returned in 1955 to work with the alumni association. He ended up being an assistant coach for Winter in 1958, and over six seasons Barrett two times assisted the Wildcats reach the Last Four.Barrett moved into an administrative function in 1963, and was Kansas State’s athletic director from 1969 to’75. He also spent time as an expert and director of advancement until his retirement in 2007, though he remained active with volunteer work. “Ernie was the dearest of good friends, among the greatest K-Staters worldwide,”stated longtime Kansas State football coach Expense Snyder.”Never ever in my 40-plus years here have I satisfied anyone who indicated more or did more for a university than Ernie. He looked for chances to promote Kansas State University and the athletics program all over he was.”Barrett was popular amongst trainees, too, providing a company handshake to anybody who crossed his course. The bronze statue outside Bramlage Coliseum portrays Barrett offering one of those handshakes, instead of showing him as a player.”Ernie cared so deeply about Kansas State, and I appreciated our friendship and his personal interest in our football program, “Wildcats football coach Chris Klieman stated.”Everyone understands Ernie for his metaphorical handshake, however what I will keep in mind most is an individual who invested almost three-quarters of a century attempting to make his alma mater a much better place.” Barrett is made it through by his partner of 72 years, Bonnie, along with his child Brad and grandson, Ryan. He was preceded in death by his parents, Ernie and Ruby Barrett, and by his son Duane.

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