Football and Golf
W. Michael Barnes ’75 quarterbacked the Carleton football team for three seasons, splitting time at the position the first two of those years before turning in a stellar senior season. He led the Midwest Conference in total offense as he passed for 1,243 yards and rushed for 277 more. Barnes figured in eight total touchdowns that year and was the lone quarterback selected to the All-Midwest Conference First Team.
Mike closed out his football career in style, going 10-for-15 with four touchdown passes—and a rushing touchdown—in a 41-12 win against Beloit College. After the season, he received the Knights’ Lippert Award as the team’s MVP and was selected as an alternate quarterback for Blue-Gray postseason football game.
During his three-year career—because freshman were not eligible to play on the varsity team at the time—Barnes completed 184 of 396 passes for 3,379 passing yards and 24 touchdowns. He graduated as the program’s record holder in both career passing yards and yards per completion (18.36), the latter of which is still the team standard more than 40 years later. In the spring, Barnes traded the gridiron for the links and helped Carleton to a third-place finish at the 1972 Midwest Conference Tournament. Two years later, he was in the starting lineup as Carleton captured its first conference team title since 1961.
After graduating from Carleton, Mike went on to study at North Dakota State University from 1983-85, and while there was inducted into Pi Sigma Alpha (a national honor society for political science). He earned his MAT in Education from the University of St. Thomas in 1996. Mike has had a long and successful career teaching social studies at the high school level and coaching high school football, and even served a stint as an Assistant Football Coach here at Carleton under Head Coach Bob Sullivan. Mike and his wife Kelly have been married going on 33 years now, and are the parents to two wonderful sons, Greg and Andy. The family is active in two Minnesota-based conservation efforts: “Adopt-a-River” debris cleanup along the Big Fork River and “Citizen Stream Monitor,” a program to monitor water clarity in Koochiching County.