Barnes inducted into Hall of Fame

Published 10:15 pm Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Suffolk native Quinton C. Barnes was recently inducted into the West Virginia University Institute of Technology Athletic Hall of Fame.

A John F. Kennedy High School graduate, Barnes, also known as “Que,” was a standout athlete in Suffolk who was inducted on the strength of his time playing at West Virginia University Institute of Technology. He was honored at a banquet during the school’s Golden Bear Alumni Weekend on March 3.

“It really is a just an awesome feeling,” Barnes said of his induction. “I was just a little black boy from Suffolk that grew up in downtown Suffolk. It is humbling. I never looked at myself as a Hall of Famer, but just somebody who did their job.”


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Barnes is the 14th of 15 kids and grew up playing football and basketball and running track. He participated in all three in his time at John F. Kennedy, winning district and regional championships in all three sports and earning the honor of his jersey hanging in the school gym and in the trophy case, according to his biography on the Golden Bear Alumni Weekend website.

Suffolk native Quinton Barnes was inducted into the West Virginia University Institute of Technology Athletic Hall of Fame earlier this month. (submitted photo)

After a historic high school career, Barnes decided to attend Oklahoma University, but Oklahoma’s football program found itself under a three-year probation for violations of NCAA rules.

That immediately changed Barnes’ decision to play for OU, which led to him sitting out a year and being forced to scramble to find a college home for schools that had previously recruited him. He ended up going to Virginia Tech to play for legendary coach Frank Beamer. But after a year at VT, Barnes felt it was best to leave.

While at home for a year, Barnes took classes at Hampton University before hearing from WVU Tech about possibly playing there. At first, he decided not to play before eventually changing his mind, and the rest was history.

Barnes played three years, 1993-1996, at WVU Tech, earning team captain honors during the 1995-1996 season and the team’s MVP and the A.W. Orndoff award. During his time at WVU Tech, he was also an eight-time West Virginia Independent Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week and a three-time All-Conference player. In ’96, he won the WVIAC Defensive Player of the Year award, Charleston Area Rotary Club Athlete of the Year, WV Sportswriters Sportsmanship selection; National Burger King Scholar-Athlete selection 96; and UPI All-American selection. On top of on-field accolades, he was an Academic All-American every season, which is something Barnes took pride in.

The Suffolk native holds the WVIAC record for most tackles in a game (24), average tackles per game (17.5) and tackles for a season with 175. He earned a degree in history and political science.

Looking back on his journey and how he landed at WVU Tech, Barnes says it’s a blessing and that he’d never change how it all happened.

After his time at WVU Tech, he had two unsuccessful stints with the Carolina Panthers as an undrafted free agent. Barnes has his own construction company, Triangular Ascension LLC. which has been up and running for 19 years, and also has a trucking company, which he started in 2015.

Also honored along with Barnes at the March 3 event were fellow football players Forest Mann, who graduated in 1960, and Frank Spangler Jr., who graduated in 1975.