• Barnett, an old Dog, to coach again
By Jim Wallace

In the last seven days, a former coaching warrior has decided to return to the wars.
John Barnett, who coached for 31 years - most notably as defensive coordinator under Luther Welsh - has accepted an assistant coaching slot with the Thomson Bulldogs.
“I’ll be working with the inside linebackers,” said Barnett Tuesday, his first day with the team. “That will be about seven or so players on the varsity and junior varsity.”
Rob Ridings, new Thomson High School head football coach, said he is pleased and excited to have Barnett on staff.
“He is, of course, an outstanding football coach and former educator here,” said Ridings. “I couldn’t think of a better person to get back involved.”
Ridings said some unexpected coaching departures brought the need for Barnett.
“It was really late trying to find a quality-type guy that we need, and of course, John fulfilled all those categories,” said Ridings, who was offensive coordinator at THS from 1999-2004 when Barnett was defensive coordinator, a position now held by Lee Hutto. “The hardest job I had was convincing his wife, Kim, to let him come back out again.”

To read more on this story, pick up the Thursday, June 19, edition of The McDuffie Progress.





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