I'm going to get into Danny Barrett first because, I have to believe, he has the inside track for the job. Even before the conclusion of the soap opera in Lawrence Kansas many considered him to likely be the next UB coach.
For the past three seasons Gill has had interviews at big schools (07 with Nebraska, 08 with Auburn, 09 with Kansas) and for the past two seasons the feeling coming out of Amherst is that Barrett has been getting groomed for the job. He has been taking over more and more of the responsibility for the offense and he has had a big hand in recruiting.
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Barret played College Ball at Cincinnati (Quarter back) in the early 80's. He co-captained the Bearcats and earned honorable mention Associated Press All-America honors. After college he played professional ball in Canada for the Calgary Stampeders, Toronto Argonauts, BC Lions, and Ottawa Rough Riders.
During his professional playing career (1983 - 1996, 1998) he threw for nearly twenty four thousand yards and one hundred and thirty three touch down passes. In 1992, Barrett was selected as the Tom Pate recipient while a member of the BC Lions for his outstanding contributions to the league, his team and his community. This award was voted on by the CFLPA.
Barrett's coaching career began in 1997 when he took over the duties of being a quarterbacks coach for the Calgary Stampede, a position he would hold the following two years with the British Colombia Lions. During his time as a quarterbacks coach he would be responsible for, among other, Jeff Garcia who would become the San Fransisco 49rs quarterback the following year.
In 2000 Barrett was given the head coaching position for the Saskatchewan Roughriders. During his Career he would post a mark of 57-68-1, but he did finish his last four season 38-34 with four straight playoff births and three trips to the western title game.
In 2006 Barret turned down a one year extension by the newly appointed general manager (Eric Tillman) to take a job as the assistant coach under Turner Gill. The move both got Barrett out of the political infighting going on with the Roughriders and brought him back to NCAA Football under Turner Gill.
Barrett has spent three years at UB moving from the role of quarterbacks coach to that of offensive coordinator this past season. Because of his role in running the offense, and in recruiting, Barrett is likely the front runner.
The Pluses for Barrett:
- Three years as part of the UB Football Program
- Hand in recruiting many current and, hopefully, future UB players
- despite turnover issues the UB offense still set the team record this year for yards per game
The Minuses for Barrett:
- No head coaching experience in NCAA Football, or American Football.
- Has, in the past, showed poor judgement in airing team concerns to the media (with Saskatchewan)
- His offense in 2009 was turnover prone
Would he be a good hire for UB?
A lot of that depends on just how much he has had to do with this years recruiting class. If guys like James Potts are willing to come play for Danny Barret as they were turner Gill then there is little doubt UB could field a solid offense on a team coached by Barrett.
His familiarity with the program could mean that UB football under Barrett could start pretty much where turner Gill left off and given that its mid December that would be a huge plus.
Next up Bryan Harsin