Barone sat along side coaches like the late Matty Sabello and Randy Chave before finally getting the chance to be the head coach 11 years ago, when Chave stepped aside to become the athletic director.
Barone was the head man when Rick Apodaca became the all-time leading scorer in the history of Hudson County basketball five years ago.
While Barone has been a part of so much history while coaching basketball at North Bergen, it was never widely known that he had created his own history during his playing days - so much so that he was prominently featured in the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.
During his collegiate days, Barone was a basketball player at Monmouth College (now Monmouth University). Barone also had a knack of accuracy at the free throw line, so proficient at making foul shots that he set a new NCAA record.
During the 1969-70 season, Barone connected on 65 straight free throws. It was a record that stood for more than 30 years.
In fact, it was such a prominent record that when Barone set it, the Basketball Hall of Fame asked for the ball so it could be placed among the memorabilia in the hall.
"For many years, my ball had the greatest spot," Barone said. "It was right there as you entered, right between the jerseys of Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain. Then, they moved things around, but my ball was always next to Russell's jersey."
Imagine that. A North Bergen guy in the Basketball Hall of Fame, right next to the legendary centers Russell and Wilt the Stilt. It's almost too unbelievable for words.
"Every so often, I would take my teams up to Springfield so they could see my ball," Barone said.
"My ball," is how Barone refers to the piece of history. Like he owns it. Well, it does have his name on it, but the ball is now owned by the Basketball Hall of Fame. You sort of relinquish all rights when history is calling.
There were a few times when Barone was sure the record was going to fall. Henry Bibby, the former USC All-American, who had a career in the NBA and now coaches at USC, got as far as 63 in a row. But he finally missed.
"I remember that Steve Alford (the former Indiana All-American) got as far as 61," Barone recalled. "My brother called me to turn on the television, that Alford was at 61. Well, I got out my Italian horns to put the whammy on him. Sure enough, it worked. He missed."
Barone's record stood until last year, when Darnell Archery of Butler University in Indiana shattered the mark by making 83 straight. Still, Barone's ball was always going to be a part of the Hall of Fame.
Or so he thought.
When Barone took his team to Springfield last week to visit the Hall of Fame and play in two scrimmages while up there, they were all excited to see Barone's ball.
"They were going nuts," Barone said. "They wanted to see the ball."
However, when the team arrived at the Hall of Fame, there was only one problem. Barone's ball was gone.
The Hall of Fame has undergone massive reconstruction and renovations since Barone's ball was first put in its place of prominence. An extension has been built to separate the college basketball from the professional days.
Somehow, Barone's ball didn't make the cut.
"I was told that since they did the renovations, they hadn't brought everything back yet," Barone said. "They're going to make a new case with all the college basketballs and my ball will be among those when it's completed."
But for this trip, there was no ball for the Bruins to see.
"The funny thing is that this team has trouble shooting free throws," Barone said. "I told them they were going to see the ball and they didn't see it. They were busting my chops about it, telling me they threw the ball out."
The weekend trip to Massachusetts was a good experience for the Bruins, who were able to spend some quality time together before the start of the season this weekend.
"It was worth 10 practices, being together, eating breakfast and dinner together," Barone said. "We left on Friday and beat the snowstorm, played a game and went to the Hall of Fame. It really was a great trip."
The Bruins were 8-13 a year ago. Barone hopes that the Bruins improve this season and get back into the mix for an HCIAA playoff berth.
"We lost two players that I was counting on for this season, Omar Salid (transferred to Emerson) and Santiago Hernandez (out for the season with a broken ankle)," Barone said. "We can't catch a break. I thought we had a good chance to be a good team with those two coming back and I made the schedule tougher according to whom I thought we had back."
Junior guard Andy Fernandez is going to have to take over some of the scoring load. The 5-9 Fernandez averaged 15 points per game a year ago.
"He's a good player," Barone said. "I'm very high on him. The last couple of years, we've had our share of forwards. Now, we seem to have a team of guards. We don't have any big guys, but that's OK, because I like working with guards. I like teams that are small and quick. In Hudson County, you're better off with guards. Andy is going to be a fine player for us."
Two other senior guards return from last year's team, namely Henry Riano and Miguel Urena. Urena averaged six points per game last year, while Riano averaged five per outing. Barone is counting on both players to give some stability and leadership.
Junior forwards Edgar Cabrera and Hamza Abdelhadi are both up from the Bruins' JV program and should add some depth and stability to the lineup. Senior center Jordi Gonzalez is a 6-3 tough rebounder who needs to stay out of foul trouble. Barone says that Gonzalez is the team's most improved player.
Senior Medoune Gueye is a transfer from Paramus Catholic who should be in the mix. Gueye is a 6-2 forward. Andre Montesi has a ton of potential, but has been somewhat injury prone.
Barone said that the Bruins have two newcomers to watch, namely sophomore guard Gary Felices, who can shoot the ball, and fabulous freshman Evan Rodriguez, a 6-3 man-child who does everything.
"He's the next big-time player for us," Barone said of Rodriguez. "We're going to bring him off the bench to start the year, because we wanted to bring him along slowly. But he's talented. He's playing above the rim already."
Barone likes the makeup of his team.
"We have 12 kids and I love every one of them," Barone said. "It's a fun group that gets along well. They make coming to practice every day a joy."
The Bruins play a tough schedule, beginning with Hoboken this weekend. They play Union and Sayreville at home (Sunday, Dec. 21 at 7 and Tuesday, Dec. 23 at 7), then face off in the Neptune Christmas Tournament.
They will also face St. Anthony in an independent game later in the season (Feb. 26).
"We want the kids to play the best teams, because they'll only get better," Barone said. "Playing teams like St. Anthony will help us."
Just like a trip to Springfield does wonders for camaraderie.