John Barnes, professor of Sports Administration at The University of New Mexico, will represent UNM overseas next year on a Fulbright Scholarship. He is traveling to Hungary during the Spring 2023 semester to complete research and teach classes on leadership in collegiate sports. The Fulbright Program just announced his award to work with the Hungarian University of Physical Education and Sports Science (TE).

“Your grant is a reflection of your leadership and contributions to society.” – Fulbright Award letter to John Barnes

Fulbright is the world’s largest and most diverse international educational exchange program, with a goal to develop mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.

“I cannot express how grateful and exited I am for the opportunity this brings,” Barnes said. “With the relationships we have established in Budapest, particularly my host institution the Hungarian University of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, I anticipate wonderful collaborations and interesting research.”

Barnes’ research explores how other nations provide intercollegiate sport experiences for university student-athletes. Since college athletics in Hungary are still in the early stages, Barnes says it’s a perfect laboratory for testing effective and educational benefits for students.

“I want to observe how the development of sport in this setting is being administered, from the ground up, and see what concepts and practices may inform U.S. college sports moving forward,” he explained. “College athletics in the U.S. is evolving and, based upon economic, legal and political pressures, appears to be on a paradigm shift at the highest levels.

By conducting research in Hungary, Barnes says there is the potential to provide insight to academic and sports administrators in the United States. He hopes his project will bridge gaps in academic literature by directly comparing college athletics in the U.S. with those in other countries.

In addition, Barnes will be teaching two classes specifically developed for the Fulbright term. One is on leadership in sport and the other will provide an overview of the sport systems in North America.

“Also, Fulbright encourages engagement in local programs in the host country and I cannot wait to get involved,” he said.

Presenting the Lobo Flag
While in Budapest in 2019, Barnes presented a Lobo flag to the Rector of TE.

The relationship with TE began in the summer of 2017, when a group of faculty spent six weeks doing English immersion classes on UNM’s campus. Each following year they have sent faculty to UNM for English training and workshops provided by various programs on campus, including sports administration, Physical Education Teacher Education Program (PETE), exercise science, and others. In 2019, the school asked Barnes to be the keynote speaker of the Sport and Innovation International Conference.

Barnes received his doctorate in Sports Administration from UNM in 2004. Prior to earning his doctorate, he obtained a master’s degree in kinesiology from UNLV and a bachelor’s degree in physical education from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.

Prior to academia, Barnes worked as an athletic trainer. His experience involved work at the high school, college and professional levels. This included three years in the California Angels organization and one season with the Montreal Expos double-A team in Harrisburg, PA. He was also the head athletic trainer at Chaffey College for ten years.