Coach’s Box: Barnett setting example as father figure for student athletes


Neveah Jones

Coppell assistant Blaine Barnett passes during pregame warmups before the Cowboys’ 42-35 victory against Sachse on Oct. 2 at Buddy Echols Field. In addition to coaching football, Barnett teaches special education at Coppell High School.

Trisha Atluri, Advertising/Circulation Manager

Blaine Barnett coaches tight ends for the Coppell football team and is a special education teacher at Coppell High School. Barnett graduated from CHS in 1995 and came back to coach as a special teams coordinator from 2009 to 2011. After leaving to serve as an offensive coordinator at Newman Smith High School, he returned to CHS in 2019.

What is your coaching philosophy?

A lot of coaches like to scream and yell, but I’m really not that way. I try to be easy going with [the players]. I can get on to them if need be, but I’m more of a teacher than a yeller. Every player is different. I’m coaching a pretty good group of guys right now. They’re all self motivated. 

What have you learned from coaching your athletes?

Coaching kids from lower income schools has been a big lesson for me, and I know there’s certain things they need. Fair is not always equal. A lot of those guys didn’t have the fortunate childhood I had, so I wanted to provide that for them. Some of their fathers are absent or gone, so my goal is to be the father figure they’re missing in their lives. 

What are your interests outside of football?

I watch a lot of sports. I like to hunt and fish. I like to play golf even though I’m terrible at playing. It’s still fun to get out there and play a little bit. I like to be outside mostly. I like to be with my family. I’ve got three kids I like to spend time with, and I like to get them outside to spend some time in nature.

How would you compare your approach to teaching special education classes with your approach to coaching football?

My approach to both of them is to care about those kids. Coaching is just another way of teaching. We do a lot of teaching out there on the football field. A lot of people don’t realize that we’re not just out there yelling and screaming. When we’re not in a pandemic, we’re hugging kids, we’re loving kids and that’s what we’ve done in the classroom as well. We’re teaching kids and making sure they have all the tools they need to be successful. 

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I count my blessings every day. I get to wake up and come to CHS and work for [CHS Principal Laura] Springer. She was a teacher here when I was in high school, and I’ve always really looked up to her. Now that she’s the principal, it couldn’t be any better, and working in the athletic department in Coppell is really great. The leadership in this school district is awesome. It couldn’t be any better. It’s a great job, and I come here and there’s students that I love to see every day. I couldn’t ask for anything more. 

Follow Trisha (@trishatluri) and @SidekickSports on Twitter.