Born: August 27, 1929 – Pratt, KS
Graduated: Wellington (KS) H.S., 1947; Kansas State University, 1951; MS – Kansas State University, 1956
An All-State basketball star at Wellington High School and a basketball All-American at Kansas State, Ernie Barrett will forever be known as "Mr. K-State" for his ties to the University which began as a player in 1947.
His basketball career at K-State is storied. He captained the 1950-51 team that opened one of America's most spectacular basketball arenas -- fabled Ahearn Field House. Barrett earned All-America honors for the 1951 team that posted a 25-4 record and advanced all the way to the NCAA championship game under coach Jack Gardner. His legendary "radar shot" described his ability as a long-range shooter which propelled the Wildcats into the title game where they lost to Kentucky, 68-58. He was named the most valuable player at the East/West All-Star game in Chicago following his senior year.
A first-round draft pick of the Boston Celtics, he played two seasons in the National Basketball Association.
Following his NBA career, he returned to K-State as assistant basketball coach under "Tex" Winter. In 1961, joined the athletic staff as assistant athletic director and in 1969 was named athletic director, the first Kansas-born athlete to lead K-State's athletic program. Well-known for his firm handshake, Barrett was the man who hired Hall of Fame basketball coach Jack Hartman. He later spearheaded fundraising campaigns for KSU Stadium, the athletic dormitory, synthetic turf on the football stadium and the R.V. Christian Track and Field Complex.
Presented by Howard Sherwood