CapitalSportsNC articles on Roy Williams win national award

Clifton Barnes, the owner of, has won a national award for writing.

A series of columns on issues surrounding University of North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams won an Award of Excellence from the DC area-based Communications Concepts through its 2015 Awards for Publication Excellence competition.

Barnes, a native of Rocky Mount who has lived in Cary since 1996, is a UNC-Chapel Hill journalism and political science grad.

The columns, which appeared here on, address Williams’ role or lack thereof in the academic scandal at UNC, his official support of the Affordable Healthcare Act and his intentions to coach UNC for six to 10 more years.

Judges were impressed with how Barnes delved into the issues in ways that other writers have not and how he wasn’t afraid to be politically incorrect.

John De Lellis of Communications Concepts says competition was intense as there were nearly 2,000 entries with 12 winners in the column-writing category. Barnes was the only winner from North Carolina. has now won awards three years in a row. Articles from all the top media outlets and sports teams in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area are featured on the website along with videos, tweets and original sports commentary.

The winning entries can be accessed here on at, and

Barnes, who has won more than 70 journalism awards, served as director of communications for the N.C. Bar Association from 1987 to 2002 and, before that, was a newspaper writer and editor. He also worked part-time for McClatchy on numerous community newspaper websites.

Today he is a freelance writer, editor and Web developer who owns several websites including He is currently writing a book on the University of North Carolina’s Order of the Bell Tower. Barnes is also credited with the idea for the Town of Cary’s Hometown Spirit Award, given each year since 2009 to honor those who promote small town values.

Along with his wife Andrea, he raises their nine-year-old son Will Griffin.

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