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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Barrett joins forces with Miles at ISU

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Greg Barrett, who led North Putnam to the Class 2A state championship game last season, will join Trent Miles and the Indiana State Sycamores this season. [Order this photo]
GREENCASTLE -- In his three seasons at the helm for the North Putnam Cougars, Greg Barrett has put up some impressive numbers. He sports a record of 33-5, with a sectional, regional and semi-state title and gave the school its only state championship game appearance.

Now Barrett hopes to take his expertise and help build an up and coming Indiana State football program. Barrett has coached in the college ranks before, at ISU and Rose-Hulman. He said returning to the next level is kind of a dream come true.

"It's not everyday a high school coach gets a chance to go coach in college again," Barrett said. "It's always been kind of a dream to get back into college coaching. I've known Coach (Trent) Miles for a while and he's done a great job with the program, I like everything they've got going on there. I'm a former Sycamore and we want to see football at Indiana State improve and he's definitely taken it to another notch and I think they're just going to keep going."

Barrett said the prospect of returning to coaching at the collegiate level came quick.

"He (Miles) offered me a job and was on board with it and thought about it, it's been a couple of weeks I've thought about it," he said. "You never know if the timing is ever right, it's just one of those deals where I had to jump on board and get it and go. I'm excited about being part of his staff.

"Things have been great at North Putnam. I haven't been looking for a job, I haven't applied for a job -- this job just came to me and I had to get on board and go," Barrett said.

Barrett broke the news to his Cougars Friday. He said while it definitely put a somber mood on the day, in the end his players understood the reason for his departure.

"It was a tough meeting, a good meeting but it's tough. I think a lot of them understood and it wasn't like I was going across town to South Putnam or Greencastle. It wasn't a lateral move. I think they understood that. It was a bittersweet meeting," he said.

Barrett is from and currently resides in Terre Haute so the move back was one that just made sense.

"It's just a good opportunity for me to be closer to home and closer to the family," Barrett said. "It's the best choice for my family and I there's no doubt about it -- in many ways. A chance to recruit the state of Indiana to come play at ISU is something I've always wanted to do and I think it's just a very neat opportunity.

"We've got a great conference we play in now and the schedule -- Indiana State opens up with Penn State. What are the chances of me ever getting to go coach at Penn State, you know?," he added.

Moving to the next level will afford Barrett the opportunity to have football on his mind all day. He said recruiting kids to come, play football and get a good education is something he's looking forward to. Also the fact the he'll be coaching where he, his brothers and father played the game is equally as special.

"The fact that I played there, my brothers played there and my dad played there -- the offices down there are called the 'Jay Barrett Players Lounge'. It's just kind of a neat deal, you walk down there and you see your dad's picture on the wall. That meant a lot to me as well," he said.

Even though Barrett is happy to be returning to coaching at the college level, he does so with a heavy heart. The relationships he formed will be something the coach will always treasure.

"Putnam County has been great to me no doubt -- a special place for me in my heart. All the people, the community of Bainbridge and Roachdale, and not only that, just the entire county. When they followed us to the state championship game -- that's another thing that made it hard. A lot of neat things going on and some great people up there.

"It was a tough decision, but the right decision," Barrett said. "Because everyone has been so good in the community at North Putnam to me, especially the administration for hiring me and giving me a chance. I was blessed to coach those guys and take them to another level. Those are memories you'll never forget."

Barrett joins an Indiana State squad who went 6-5 last season. He will serve as special teams, running backs and tight ends coach.