Justin Barringer Happy to Return to Coaching

by Marc Narducci | Jun 30, 2020
Justin Barringer Happy to Return to Coaching
Justin Barringer loved being a head basketball coach at his alma mater in Woodbury but the difficulty of teaching in one school and coaching in another was among the reasons he stepped down after three successful seasons.
Now Barringer is back as a head coach and he will have the luxury of coaching and teaching under the same roof. A teacher of sociology, History 2 and African American Studies at Sterling for the past 12 years, he was named in June as the head basketball coach.
Barringer replaces veteran Harold Little, talking over a team that went 14-14 and earned a first round South Jersey Group 2 playoff win over Delran before falling to Haddon Heights in the quarterfinals.
The Silver Knights have a solid nucleus led by Antoine Arnett, a 6-foot-5 rising senior who averaged 19.8 points and was an all-conference selection.
Rising junior Jimmy Zingaro returns at guard and there are a few others who saw varsity action. Barringer will have a good nucleus, although competing in the Colonial Conference won’t be easy.
Barringer knows all about the Colonial from his days at Woodbury. As a Woodbury coach he guided the Thundering Herd to the South Jersey Group 1 title in his final season of 2017.
Woodbury then beat Burlington City in the state semifinal, but lost to a veteran Verona team with eight seniors in the state final.
That turned out to be Barringer’s final game.
It was tough to give it up, especially since Woodbury would win the state title the following year, but Barringer felt it was difficult to be an adjunct coach.
He would teach at Sterling and then go to Woodbury for practice. Any coach will tell you that being in the same school that you coach in, is truly advantageous, being with the students all day.
In addition, Barringer had several extracurricular commitments as a Sterling teacher.
One of his chief projects at Sterling is to put on an assembly during Black History Month in February. That is also a hectic month for any basketball coach, with the regular season winding down and preparing for the playoffs.
“It wasn’t fair to Sterling and wasn’t to Woodbury, being able to have me fully,” he said.
So he wasn’t really looking to get back into coaching, but when the opportunity arose at the school where he teaches, cutting down afternoon travel, making things more cohesive with being in the building all day, Barringer applied for the job.
Plus, he said as he gets older, he is learning how to delegate better. It’s something all the successful coaches eventually learn.
While he wasn’t coaching, Barringer often attended many Sterling boys’ and girls’ basketball games. During the playoffs last year, he watched the girls’ basketball team play a postseason game in the afternoon and the boys’ in the evening.
He understands how much it means to youngsters to have teachers attend their events. Now he will be attending them in a much different, but enjoyable role.
Like any coach, he missed the competition, the day to day teaching, the interaction with the players.
All that is back and while there are the obstacles that the coronavirus pandemic has caused, he’s thrilled return to coaching as he attempts to make the same type of positive impact as the head basketball coach that he has made as a teacher at Sterling.

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Author: Marc Narducci


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