Dave Barney is one of UNM's renaissance men of sport. He has played, coached and written extensively about the world of sports he has served for half a century. Born in Winthrop, Mass., Barney is the son of an Air Force colonel. He has a twin brother, Robert K. Barney, the biographer of legendary UNM figure Roy W. Johnson.
Due to his father's diverse military assignments during Word War II, Barney spent time at numerous high schools throughout the United States and overseas. He graduated from Balboa High School in the Panama Canal Zone then enrolled at UNM in the fall of 1950 where he played freshman football. His college career was interrupted by four years of military service during the Korean War.
At UNM, Barney was an all-conference swimmer and a baseball letterman. He received his bachelor's degree from UNM in 1959 and a master's in 1961.
After six years at the Cranbroook School in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Barney began his long career at Albuquerque Academy in 1967 as an English master, administrative head of the senior school and athletics coach. During his tenure, Academy swimmers and divers compiled a 424-39 dual meet record, won 19 state championships and produced 170 All-Americans. In 1995, the National Federation of Interscholastic Athletics selected Barney as its first National Swim Coach of the Year. The pool at Albuquerque Academy is named the David E. Barney and Peter B. Barney (posthumously) Competition Pool.
As an academician, Barney has authored a variety of literary and historical papers, including a sports science study on the effects of altitude on swimming performance.