Chris Barnette became the Aggies quarterbacks coach in 2015. The position has seen tremendous success since Barnette’s arrival. Lamar Raynard earned the 2017 MEAC Offensive Player of the Year award to become the first Aggie quarterback since Connell Maynor in 1991 to win the honor. In the process, Raynard broke several single-season records including most passing yards, touchdown passes, completions and attempts. Raynard captured second-team All-MEAC honors in 2016 and first-team honors in 2017.
Raynard was a finalist for the Deacon Jones Award for best black college football player in helping the Aggies win the MEAC title, the Celebration Bowl game and the HBCU national championship. Raynard is 25-0 as a starter and scored the game-winning touchdown in the Aggies Celebration Bowl win in 2017. Raynard has thrived under Barnette, completing better than 60 percent of his passes and he is on pace to break several N.C. A&T career passing records.
In his first season, Barnette prepared three different quarterbacks to start during the 2015 season in senior Kwashaun Quick, Raynard and Kylil Carter. All three played a crucial role in helping the Aggies win a share of the MEAC title, the inaugural Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl and the HBCU National Championship. Quick was 11-for-16 for 149 yards and no interceptions in the win over Alcorn State in the Celebration Bowl. Carter threw the game-winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter at S.C. State in a relief role.
In season two, Barnette had to prepare four quarterbacks for play because of injuries – Raynard, Oluwafemi Bamiro led the Aggies to a quadruple overtime win over Division I-FBS Kent State and both Carter and Isaiah Hicklin threw touchdown passes on the season.
Before accepting the position at A&T, Barnette spent the past 12 years at nearby Division III Guilford College as a player, student coach and offensive coordinator. He served the Quakers well in all three capacities, making the GC offense one of the most prolific in Division III as a player and coordinator.
Barnette took over the offensive coordinator and quarterback coach duties in 2011. As offensive coordinator, Barnette guided quarterback Matt Pawlowski to second-team All-ODAC honors in 2013. Barnette also guided running back Josh Schow to All-ODAC honors, finishing third in the league in rushing yards per game (102.3) and fourth in rushing touchdowns (11). In each of his four seasons as offensive coordinator, the Quakers offense never had fewer than 2,300 yards passing.
The Quakers threw for 3,495 yards in 2014, the most under Barnette’s offensive leadership. Guilford College finished first in the NCAA Division III statistical rankings in third-down conversion percentage and team passing efficiency. Pawlowski ranked second in the nation with 347.6 passing yards per game. Guilford also ranked fifth nationally in completion percentage (.668), third in passing offense (349.5) and sixth in total offense (507.8). The Quakers set single-season school records for points (407) and touchdowns (55). The offense also ranked 15th nationally in red zone success (88.2), threw only three interceptions (third-fewest in DIII) and had only eight turnovers (fourth-fewest in DIII).
Barnette’s coaching career at Guilford began in 2007 as a student assistant working with wide receivers. Former teammate and wide receiver Hagen Miller broke Barnette's school receptions record and led NCAA Division III in catches per game in 2007. Five Guilford wideouts have earned All-Old Dominion Athletic Conference honors under Barnette’s tutelage, including Joe Joyner, Kevin Vaughn, Justin Parker, Ben King and Adam Smith. Vaughn was a 2008 D3football.com All-American.
Barnette joined a select group of professional and college football assistants for the 2012 NFL-NCAA Coaches' Academy. He was one of 60 coaches chosen for the three-day institute that provided former NFL players and current NCAA college coaches with tools and networking opportunities for potential careers as football coaches. In the spring of 2008, Barnette served as the offensive coordinator for the Elancourt Templiers of the French Elite League. The team went 9-3 and reached the league championship game.
As a player, Barnette caught a school-record 266 passes for 2,953 yards and 30 touchdowns in a four-year career that concluded in 2006. As a senior in ‘06, he was named an All-American by the American Football Coaches Association and D3football.com. It would be his second straight All-American season. He led Guilford’s pass-catchers in each of his four years. The Quakers' first ODAC Offensive Player of the Year, Barnette played in the 2006 East Coast Bowl and Aztec Bowl senior all-star games.
The Semora, N.C., native was an all-conference receiver and quarterback at Person High School for coach Mark Lunsford. His brother, Jamie, quarterbacked North Carolina State University from 1994-99.
Barnette earned his degree in sport management from Guilford.