Sam Barber enters his fifth season as a full-time assistant coach with the Air Force wrestling program after serving as a volunteer assistant during the 2008-09 season. An experienced collegiate coach, Barber coached 16 national champions and 60 All-Americans in 12 seasons at the Division III level.
Barber arrived at the Academy after working with USA Wrestling as the manager of the National Coaches Education Program. Prior to that, he spent seven years with the wrestling program at Augsburg College (Minn.). After four seasons as the head assistant coach, Barber was promoted to associate head coach in 2005 and took over the reins as head coach in 2007. During his tenure at Augsburg, the Auggies never finished below third place at the NCAA Division III championships, winning national titles in 2002, 2005 and 2007. In 2006, Barber was named the Division III Co-National Assistant Coach of the Year by the National Wrestling Coaches Association.
Barber, a 1995 graduate of Upper Iowa University, served as the head assistant coach at his alma mater from 1995-99 before being named the head coach in 1999. Barber also spent the 2000-01 season as a graduate assistant coach at Minnesota State-Mankato, where he earned his master's degree in educational leadership and experiential education in 2004. While there, Barber helped lead the Mavericks to a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Division II Championships in 2001.
During the summer of 2009, Barber served as the head coach at the Veterans Freestyle World Championships in Ankara, Turkey, while also working as an assistant coach at the FILA Junior World Championships. In the summer of 2011, he also served as a coach for the United States team at the FILA Junior World Cup, held in Germany, while in 2012, he was the head coach of the FILA Cadet Pan American Freestyle team that won the tournament. Most recently, Barber served as the head coach of the 2013 U.S. FILA Junior Pan American Freestyle team.
Barber and his wife, Danielle, currently reside in Colorado Springs, with their daughter, Aven, who was born in February 2013.