position Director of Operations
Alma Mater Kenyon College, University of Massachusetts - Amherst
Fred Barends was named the director of operations for the Ohio State track and field and cross country program in September 2021.
Barends previously served as the director of operations for the Michigan track and field and cross country staffs since October of 2018. In his role, he was charged with planning and executing the Wolverines’ home competitions at their new indoor and outdoor facilities at the Athletics South Competition and Performance Center. He also managed the numerous logistical operations required for the Wolverines when they practiced and competed at home or travel for competition on the road.
Barends’ first stint as director of operations at Ohio State was from 2011 through 2018 for the school’s track and field and cross country program. He was responsible for managing all home meets for the Buckeyes and all aspects of the annual Jesse Owens Track & Field Classic. In addition, he worked closely with alumni and assisted all squads in numerous administrative capacities.
Barends has more than 20 years of coaching experience at the NCAA Division III level with stops at Pomona-Pitzer Colleges, Otterbein University, Ohio Wesleyan University and Capital University. He coached a total of 43 First Team All-Americans and four NCAA individual champions, won seven team league championships and earned seven U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) regional coach of the year awards. He served as USTFCCCA treasurer for six years and was a member of its executive board during that time. He is also a USATF Level II certified sprints and jumps coach and was inducted into the Ohio Wesleyan Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012.
A native of Columbus, Barends graduated from Kenyon College in 1983 with a degree in History and earned a degree in sports management from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1985. While at Kenyon, he set nine indoor and outdoor school records as a sprint and relay specialist for the track and field team.
He and his wife Rachel have three children – Hannah, Peter and Parker.