Becoming a successful basketball coach in the United States coming from Europe is a tough
task, certainly tougher than becoming a player. It is a long ride, much more like a marathon than
Lubos Barton, a former NCAA player and a Euroleague champion, is prepared to take this road.
After finishing his successful playing career, he has started a new chapter in his life as a
Barton is a 41-year-old coach coming from the Czech Republic who has decided to take his
expertise overseas and try out in the NCAA, a competition where he once starred as a player.
After playing for top-class European clubs such as Fortitudo Bologna, Virtus Roma, Joventut
Badalona and Barcelona, Barton started his coaching career in 2017 in the youth ranks of world
class club, FC Barcelona.
Three years later, had a short stint with the University of Baylor in 2020 but after the pandemic
broke out, Barton returned to Europe. Last two years he is coaching the U18 Czech Republic
national team and now he took up new challenge and is the first assistant in the senior national
As a player, Barton spent four years at Valparaiso University (1998-2002), led the team to three
Mid-Continent Conference regular season titles, three conference tournament championships
and three NCAA Tournament appearances.
Barton was named the Mid-Con Player of the Year as a senior in 2002, capping his career with
Honorable Mention All-American honors from the Associated Press as well. The conference’s
Newcomer of the Year in 1999 as a freshman, Barton earned All-Conference accolades in each
of his four seasons including First Team honors twice and was the conference’s Tournament MVP
as a sophomore in 2000.
In 2017, he was inducted into the Valparaiso Hall of Fame and now, five years later it is probably
the time to “come back home” as an assistant coach. His influence and recruiting oversees
would definitely help Valpo, or any other program.
Starting the path as an NCAA coach in their own alumni has been the choice of many aspiring
European coaches. Matt Lottich is in his ninth season as Valparaiso’s head coach and Barton
would be a perfect fit in the coaching staff since none of them has actually played for Valpo
and he would bring in some European spice which many of the head coaches in the USA want in
Valparaiso is at the moment quite an average team, playing in a competitive Missouri Valley
Conference, and it could use some international talent.
Barton would be an even better fit for one of the best teams in college basketball, the Gonzaga
Bulldogs. The Bulldogs regularly have European players on their roster and having a European
assistant in the staff would be very beneficial for them. Head coach Mark Few runs a playing style
with a lot of passing and smart shot selection and Barton would be a great fit in that basketball
philosophy. On the west coast, style of basketball favors players from Europe, who tend to have
more size, more skill but are not as physical as American players.
Another obvious option for Barton would be the assistant coach position at the University of
Davidson. The Wildcats have a similar playing style and right now feature four European players on
the roster. Barton has the experience and knowledge to be a real role model and a mentor to
these young athletes, with quite good connections in the pro ranks in Europe.
The next chapter in Barton’s coaching career is still uncertain but with the playing career he had,
he will definitely find his spot somewhere. Be sure to stay tune, because we will hear his name soon
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