Ex-USF QB Barnhardt moves on from coaching
Former USF quarterback Chad Barnhardt, who spent the last three seasons as offensive coordinator at Webber International, an NAIA program in Babson Park, said Monday that he has left the coaching profession to start a new career in banking.
Barnhardt, USF's first-ever starting quarterback in 1997, came back to USF in 2005 for one season as an offensive graduate assistant. As a player, he threw for 4,138 yards and 27 touchdowns in two seasons, and he still has the highest career pass efficiency rating in USF history at 135.8. Before returning to USF, he was the head coach at Lake Wales High, where he coached former USF running back Ben WIlliams.
Barnhardt said he left his post at Webber last month to start work at Polk County-based CenterState Bank, where he is training to work in commercial lending.
-- Five days after the Miami Herald reported that FIU had indeed backed out of a scheduled 2009 game at USF to open a home-and-home series with Rutgers, neither school is confirming anything, presumably because the contracts haven't been finalized. The Herald's report includes quotes from FIU coach Mario Cristobal, as well as athletic director Pete Garcia, who cited the economy as being a factor in his decision to bail out on the USF game, a move which brings another BCS team into FIU's new stadium.
Contractually, FIU had the right to back out of the final game with a $200,000 buyout, but the timing of the move, long after most 2009 schedules have been completed, is surprising, especially with a fellow Big East program knowingly putting the Bulls in a bad position.
USF, needing a sixth home game on short notice, is likely to be limited to a second Division I-AA opponent. The NCAA allows only one I-AA win per season to count toward bowl eligibility, meaning the Bulls would likely have to win at least seven games in 2009 to be bowl-eligible. The Bulls have won at least seven games for the past three seasons. Even with the addition of FIU, Rutgers apparently will have two I-AAs on the schedule as well -- the ACC's Florida State, Clemson and Georgia Tech all had two I-AAs on their schedule this past season and all still were bowl-eligible.
Officials from FIU, Rutgers, USF and the Big East have all declined to comment in the past week. Rutgers' move is especially curious because the Scarlet Knights have only an interim athletic director in place -- and making things even more intriguing, this note in the Providence Journal mentions that the conference's associate commissioner, Nick Carparelli Jr., is "heavily involved" in Rutgers' AD opening.
-- We'd posted news of this earlier, but USF's official site has a story on Cowboys cornerback Anthony Henry making a $100,000 donation to USF's football program, complete with quotes from Henry, Leavitt and Lee Roy Selmon.
-- ESPN.com's Big East blogger, Brian Bennett, has his pre-spring Power Rankings, and USF comes in fifth in his early assessment, citing holes to fill on the offensive line and defensive secondary.
-- I know you're asking about the offensive coordinator opening, and whether receivers coach Mike Canales will be promoted back into the job he held from 1996-2000. I asked Jim Leavitt about his timeline on Friday, and all he said was "about a week," so you could have your answer by the end of this week. Former offensive coordinator Greg Gregory, stripped of his coordinator title after he interviewed for an opening at Florida, remains an active part of USF's offensive staff in an unspecified role.