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Friday, May 27, 2016

Greg Barrett returns to coach Cougar football

Saturday, May 19, 2012

After spending a year as an assistant coach at Indiana State University, Greg Barrett is coming back to North Putnam.

In three years as head football coach, Barrett led the Cougars to a 33-5 record, including a 2010 appearance in the 2A state championship game.

Barrett left an experienced team to join ISU as an assistant for special team, running backs and tight ends.

"North Putnam is a great school and a great community," Barrett said. "I'm just excited to get back to high school."

North Putnam finished last season 11-1 under first-year coach Brian Crabtree, their only loss coming in the sectional final to South Putnam.

Crabtree resigned in March for personal reasons.

Barrett was hired from a pool of 24 applicants spanning from as far as Virginia and Florida.

Four were interviewed by a committee made up of board members Oliver Haste and Mark Hoke, athletic director Rich Bagienski, high school principal Alan Zerkel and assistant football coach Dan Fouts.

When Barrett resigned from North Putnam last year, he noted that an opportunity to coach at his alma mater was too much to pass up. He made a similar statement about returning.

"I just realized that working with that level of kids, the reward of watching those guys grow up and mature, it's something special," he said. "It comes down to building kids for the future, and that's what I'm doing."

The Sycamores finished 6-5 last season and Barrett said he enjoyed the experience.

"I had a great year at Indiana State," he said. "It was not like I left for any particular reason."

He said he left because coming back to North Putnam was to good of an opportunity too pass up.

Barrett said he plans to move his family to the North Putnam community where he envisions sending his children to school, calling the move "a good family decision."

He added that he expects to remain as a high school coach for the foreseeable future.

"Right now that's the plan," Barrett said. "If I didn't think so I wouldn't be going back to North Putnam."

Barrett noted he is familiar with nearly every player on the roster.

"I wasn't gone that long," he said. "I know there are still great (players) coming through there."

Barrett said he will have a team meeting next week to begin preparing for the upcoming season.

"We'll get right at it after graduation," he said. "I hope the community is excited. I liked what I was doing there."