John Barnett is the logical choice to replace retiring head coach Luther Welsh after this season at Thomson High School.
He's a man more than capable of leading the Bulldogs. And I say that after 21 years of serving as defensive coordinator at the school, it's time coach Barnett was given an opportunity to become the head mentor.
I don't just say this merely because we have known each other since school days and graduated together from Thomson High in 1975. I say he deserves the job because he has worked to earn it.
John is not a man who will come out and express an interest in the job himself. But he has openly confessed that he would entertain the idea if someone approached him offering him the position.
Again that's not to say he'd take it.
But again, he's the logical choice and the best man for the job in my opinion.
As a longtime reporter, I've gotten the opportunity to see John perform as a coach on many occasions.
He's not just good. He's one of the best defensive minds in prep football in Georgia. And he has three state titles to demonstrate his abilities in his 20-plus years as a football coach at Thomson High School.
I understand from a source that a petition soon will be circulated within the community in support of John Barnett becoming the next head football coach at Thomson High School. The source, who requested that his name not be mentioned, asked if I would support him. I was so excited that I immediately blurted out, "Yes. I'll even be the first person to sign it, if you bring it to me first."
Even if the powers to be don't select him, John should at least be considered for the position of football head coach. And no, I don't mean just on the list, but be given an interview, etc.
John is passionate about the sport and always finds a way to get the best from his players -- no matter the lack of talent that might exist on the team. He has a special knack for getting the most out of student/athletes. And in my opinion, that's pretty special.
Another reason for supporting John Barnett as the new head football coach at Thomson High School is because he loves the school. His love runs deep. And if ever there was such a thing, John Barnett would bleed black and gold.
Having served as assistant head coach this season says something else about coach Barnett. It demonstrates his skills to lead -- something coach Welsh would never have asked his longtime assistant coach to do if he didn't already know that he possessed such leadership qualities.
I hope for the sake of our community and our rich football tradition at Thomson High School that John Barnett becomes our new football coach. I think even coach Welsh would welcome and support such a promotion from within his coaching ranks.