GREENSBORO, N.C. – Guilford College's Chris Barnette '07 joined a select group of national assistant coaches Tuesday for the start of the 2012 NFL-NCAA Coaches Academy in Dallas. He is one of approximately 60 college and professional assistants in the three-day institute.
Developed last year by NFL Player Engagement and the NCAA to boost diversity in the coaching ranks, the program provides former NFL players and current NCAA college coaches with tools and networking opportunities for potential careers as football coaches.
Many participants currently have high school or college coaching positions. NCAA invitees are football coaches with less than eight years of college coaching experience.
Barnette, Guilford's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, completed his fifth season on the Quakers' sidelines in 2011. A two-time All-American receiver, the Semora, N.C., native caught a school-record 266 passes for 2,953 yards and 30 touchdowns in his four seasons as a student-athlete. As a coach, four Guilford wideouts have earned All-Old Dominion Athletic Conference ODAC honors under his tutelage, including Kevin Vaughn '08, a 2008 D3football.com All-American.
Barnette starred at Person High School and his brother, Jamie, quarterbacked North Carolina State University from 1994-99.
Academy sessions will include instruction from NFL, college and high school coaches, business leaders and athletic administrators. Topics include how to build a personal and professional brand; managing budgets; successful networking; media messaging; coaching contracts; building relationships in college; effective leadership; understanding the academic landscape; and the interview process. Participants also will experience mock interview sessions.
"Our partnership with the NFL provides a broader base of networking and access to essential information and key influencers for football coaches who want to become head coaches," said Robert Vowels, NCAA vice president of student-athlete affairs.
"We look at this Academy as an opportunity that could positively influence the diversity numbers in the collegiate coaching ranks and as a way to get exposure for some of the most talented coaching minds in the football industry. We believe the partnership and the Academy overall will have a positive effect for the NCAA and the NFL immediately and in the future," Vowels added.
Keynote speakers include Baylor head coach Art Briles, former Notre Dame and Stanford head coach Tyrone Willingham and NFL Network analyst and former Washington Redskins and Houston Texans general manager Charley Casserly.
"This is an excellent opportunity for players who are looking to continue their careers on the football sidelines to learn leadership, management and administrative skills from football coaches at all levels," said Troy Vincent, NFL vice president of player engagement.
The NFL also partners with the NCAA on a Life Skills and Professional Development Summit each February.