Barnes, hired by Capel on May 30, 2006, helped the Sooners to a 16-15 record this year after spending the previous eight seasons as head coach at Mississippi. He guided the Rebels to a 141-109 (.564) record and led them to four postseason appearances, including the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16 in 2001. Barnes was named the Naismith National Coach of the Year that season as his squad posted a 27-8 record.
"First of all, I'm thrilled for him," said Capel of Barnes. "This is an exciting day for him and for his family, and I think Georgia State is awfully lucky to get the man of character, the quality of teacher and the quality of coach that he is.
"I'm also sad because of the relationship we built this year. He was a big help to me and to our program because of his experience, especially in a major conference. Everyone affiliated with Oklahoma basketball learned a lot from him - not just about basketball, but about life because of who he is. He'll be missed."
Capel did not offer a timetable on hiring Barnes' replacement.
"With the signing period approaching, right now my focus is on recruiting," said Capel. "I'll also start meeting with our players on an individual basis next week. Those are my priorities right now. As far as a replacement for Coach Barnes, I'll eventually hire somebody excellent for our program, someone who I feel can really help us in every area of OU basketball."
The 41-year-old Barnes hails from Bentonia, Miss., and is a 1988 Ole Miss graduate. He averaged 19 points a game as a senior and earned All-SEC honors. Barnes spent 17 seasons at Ole Miss as a player, assistant coach and head coach. He and his wife, Bridgett, have three sons.