Michael Bari, 58, former LSU Eunice women’s basketball coach, passed away Thursday at Cristus St. Frances Cabrini Hospital in Alexandria because of complications from the coronavirus.
A veteran of more than 30 years in the coaching ranks, Michael retired in 2017 after coaching at Salem University in Salem, West Virginia.
Before coaching in West Virginia, Michael was the head coach for a nine-year run at LSU Eunice from 2004-13. His teams finished with a 154-113 record and reached the NJCAA District Finals six times, including an appearance in the NJCAA Final Four in 2007.
While in Eunice, his teams were honored four times as NJCCA National Academic All-America teams, with three National Academic All-American players under his watch. He was LSUE’s second head women’s basketball coach and coached the team to the school’s first winning season in 2005.
Prior to LSUE, Michael had coached at Penn State-Behrend in Erie, Pennsylvania; Alderson Broaddus in Philippi, West Virginia; Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania; and Colorado Northwestern Community College in Rangely, Colorado, where he also served as Athletic Director and Head of Physical Education. He started his coaching career as a men’s basketball graduate assistant at East Stroudsburg in 1984. While at ESU, Bari served as the assistant baseball coach and pitching coach for the NCAA Division II program.
In Eunice, Michael was the host of The Michael Bari Show, a sports talk radio show on KEUN radio. He took the show on the road when he moved to West Virginia, broadcasting in a digital format. Most recently, Michael did play-by-play for the St. Edmund Blue Jay football team on the Bayou Sports Network.
He was born on Jan. 20, 1962, in Toronto, Canada, and is survived by his wife, Kelle, and his two sons, Steven of Albany, New York, and Matthew of Midland, Texas. Michael was preceded in death by his parents, Sebastian and Clara NiCastro Bari.
He was a dedicated father to his two sons and his players, who he considered part of his family, and it would be difficult to visit a town he coached in and not find lives that he had touched.
Due to the concerns surrounding COVID-19, there is no memorial service planned at this time.