Kiki Baker Barnes Named Commissioner of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference

Kiki Baker Barnes has been appointed commissioner of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference. She is the first Black woman appointed to this position. Founded in 1981, the GCAC is a conference that competes in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. It is a league entirely comprised of historically Black colleges and universities from Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas.

Dr. Barnes said, “I am honored to have earned the trust and confidence of my colleagues for the purpose of leading the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference into the future. My commitment is to bring creative vision, excellence, direction, and strong partnerships that will advance the conference and the competitive landscape for our student-athletes.”

Since 2006, Dr. Barnes has served as athletic director at Dillard University in New Orleans where she facilitated the return of the university’s athletic program after it was shut down after Hurricane Katrina, established new sports teams, and oversaw the founding of the university’s first endowed athletic scholarship. Throughout this time, she served as the only intercollegiate female athletic director in Louisiana.

Dr. Barnes earned a bachelor’s degree in communications and a Ph.D. in higher education administration from the University of New Orleans. She also holds a master’s degree in communications from the University of Louisiana Lafayette.

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