BAINBRIDGE -- When North Putnam hired Greg Barrett as its new football coach, the school brought in a man with an extensive background in coaching. They also brought in one who knows he inherits a 12-1 team from last year. Barrett plans to mix his own ideas with the established norms at North Putnam accordingly.
"Going into any new school, you always want to find out what their traditions are and keep their traditions. Any coach is going to bring their own enthusiasm and their own playbook," Barrett said.
Barrett comes to North Putnam after five years as an assistant to brother Chris at Terre Haute North. However, his coaching and football background goes much deeper.
The son of Vigo County coaching icon Jay Barrett, Greg played quarterback for his father at West Vigo High School. From there, he went on to play for Dennis Raetz at Indiana State. He played defensive line for the Sycamores.
Since graduating from ISU in 1996, Barrett has had several stops. At the college level, he has been a graduate assistant at ISU and the defensive line coach and academic coordinator at Rose-Hulman. In prep football, he has served as defensive line coach at West Vigo, offensive line and offensive game plan coach at Bishop Dowling High School (Iowa) and defensive line coach and offensive coordinator at Terre Haute North.
With a mix of experience coaching both sides of the ball, Barrett will bring some new ideas while also relying on the Cougar coaching staff that's in place.
"Offensively we'll be a little different. Coach Pasch got into the spread offense and that's what we're going to do also," Barrett said. "The biggest things for these kids to learn is just terminology.
"Defensively, it will stay the same," he continued. "My assistants do a great job with that. I fell into some great assistants here. In most successful programs, their head coaches are only as successful as the guys they have with them. These guys seem to be really good. They're helping me out in many ways."
One new face will bring a lot of coaching experience with him. Dan Vukovits coached under Barrett's dad at Rockville before taking over and coaching the Rox for nearly two decades.
"Dan's been a friend of the family for a long time. He's going to bring a lot of great ideas and he's going to help in many ways," Barrett said.
Working with the players this summer, the new coach has seen good results.
"So far, summer's been great and they've been responding well," Barrett said. "I like to think I'm going to bring a lot of discipline. That's kind of how I was raised. I think discipline and being in the weight room are the keys to becoming a state champion. Those are the things we're focused on."
With his family and coaching background, Barrett is happy to be a head coach, especially here in Putnam County.
"I've been wanting to be a head football coach for 35 years. It's obviously a great school and a great community. The football program's been very successful. Of course, that's going to draw anybody into it," he said. "I just think, in general, there's great people around here."
Impressed with the school system so far, the coach expects more of the same.
"Once I came in on my interview, it was kind of a no-brainer. With the athletic director and the principal and the superintendent, it just seemed like a first-class operation," he said.
Now at the helm of his own football program, Barrett hopes to take a good thing and make it even better.
"We'll keep as many traditions as we can and maybe start our own," he said. "Now we're taking it and rolling with it, and hopefully we can get to the next stage of a state title."
Barrett currently resides in Terre Haute with his wife Molly and their three children: Patrick, 12; Maggie, 6; and Maureen, 4. He will be teaching advanced physical conditioning at North Putnam.