Reitz Memorial And Alumnus Honor Late Track Coach
When given the opportunity, Reitz Memorial High School alumnus Robbie Kent never hesitated in funding a special bench, which was unveiled at the school on May 15, to honor girls track coach Dylan Barnes, who died suddenly and unexpectedly on March 6 at age 43.
“Dylan became a significant member of the Memorial family,” Barnes told scores of family, friends, student-athletes, faculty and staff during the ceremony. “Dylan Barnes was a perfect example of Memorial pride.”
Kent told a reporter from the Evansville Courier & Press that he funded the memorial for the school’s students. ““I wanted them to see what it means to be part of Memorial High School,” he told the paper. “We don’t forget; we only honor.”
Kent noted that the track team was to compete on May 16 in sectional action. “Rest assured, Dylan’s spirit will be in your corner, with his wings placed beneath your feet," Kent said, looking at the assembled team members. “He wills you to compete your best, leaving nothing out there.
“Coach Barnes left us too early,” Reitz Memorial Athletics Director Charles Roberts said in opening the ceremony. “His memory, passion for coaching and teaching, and love for life will be carried forward daily in our thoughts and actions.”
The bench is engraved with Barnes’ photo, and his years of service at Reitz Memorial (2003-2017). It also includes a salute to the roles he played – Teacher, Coach, Mentor, Friend.
The bench also includes one of Barnes sayings: “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard." It is located between the school and track at the south end of the athletic complex.