Written and picture submitted by Clinton Randall of the Bluebag Media----- UNION CITY, Ind. – Following school board approval last Thursday afternoon, the Union City High School Athletic Department welcomed 26-year-old David Barger as the new head coach for the upcoming boys varsity basketball season.

After former head coach Dustin Baldwin announced he would be leaving the team following last season’s Sectional runner-up finish, Athletic Director Mike Thornburg began accepting applications to fill the vacancy.

“We looked through several candidates and really wanted to find a good coach that would also be a teacher at the school…we found both in Coach Barger,” explained Thornburg. “He comes from a highly successful program at Tri-Village and though this will be his first head coaching position, he has learned under some great mentors that all feel he is ready for the next step.”

Coach Barger played his high school basketball at Tri-Village where they made it to the District Championship two seasons in a row. During his three-year playing career, the team accumulated over 45 wins. After graduating in 2008, he attended Indiana University East and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education in 2014.

During his time in college, Barger coached two seasons of girls basketball in both high school and middle school roles. After graduating college, he taught for a year at Richmond Community Schools and was a coach at his alma mater Tri-Village during their 30-0 Div. IV State Championship season. Most recently, he was a varsity assistant at Tippecanoe High School in Tipp City, where the team posted a record of 16-9 during his time at the school.

Coach Barger has hit the ground running after taking over as Union City head coach. He is working to get players together over the summer with scrimmages and camps, which he is making it known that attendance is key to the team’s success during the season in a campaign he is referring to being “All-In”. Barger has plans for frequent team cookouts and times they can get together off the court to help build a strong bond within the team.

“We are trying to establish the program early on through summer attendance we are trying to build up,” Coach Barger told The Early Bird. “At the end of the day the X’s and O’s don’t really matter…It is the time you put in with the kids and try to build them up which truly makes the difference!”

In addition to coaching, Barger will be working at the school as a 7th grade math teacher. He has been married to wife, Amanda, for five years and together they have a 3-year-old daughter named Katherine, and are expecting the arrival of their son towards the end of July.

Barger will make his regular season coaching debut on Nov. 23 – as the Indians play host to South Adams in an non-conference game. As a bonus, his father (Dale) is expected to be on the bench along side his son as an assistant coach.

For more information about Union City Jr/Sr High School athletics, visit the Athletic Dept. website at sports.resc.k12.in.us.

PHOTO CAPTION: Coach David Barger (left) with UC Athletic Director Mike Thornburg (right). (Clinton Randall photo)