GREENSBORO (July 23, 2018) – Ahead of North Carolina A&T’s first football practice on Monday, July 23, N.C. A&T head coach Sam Washington announced several personnel decisions for the Aggies coaching staff.
Chris Barnette, who has served as the Aggies quarterbacks coach since 2015, was named the Aggies new offensive coordinator on Monday. He will take over for Chip Hester who was announced as Barton College’s new head coach in June. Shawn Gibbs, who is heading into his eighth season as the Aggies running backs coach, was named the team’s run-game coordinator. Matt Pawlowski will replace Hester as the wide receivers coach. Pawlowski was a graduate assistant for the program over the previous two seasons.
N.C. A&T quarterbacks have had tremendous success under Barnette. In 2015, Aggies quarterback Kwashaun Quick was 11-for-16 for 149 yards and no interceptions in the Aggies Celebration Bowl win over Alcorn State. Lamar Raynard was a second-team All-MEAC selection in 2016 before being named offensive conference player of the year in 2017. Raynard is 25-0 as a N.C. A&T starter. Barnette was a star quarterback at Guilford College and was named ODAC Offensive Player of the Year in 2006.
“The first thing that jumps off the page about this young man when you spend time with him is his dedication to being detailed oriented,” said Washington. “I’m looking forward to seeing how that dedication impacts our offense. I think what Shawn has done with the running backs in our program speaks for itself. I think those two guys are really going to do some good things for our offense.”
Gibbs helped Mike Mayhew earn the 2011 MEAC Offensive Player of the Year Award and he coached Tarik Cohen to three offensive player of the year recognitions. He added another first-team all-conference back to his collection last season when Marquell Cartwright earned the honor.
On the defensive side, Courtney Coard will hold down the position of co-defensive coordinator in addition to his responsibilities as the defensive line coach. He will share the coordinator duties with Washington, the defensive coordinator over the previous seven seasons. Thomas Howard has coached the Aggies inside linebackers the past three seasons. He will coach the secondary this season after Washington, who coached defensive backs the previous seven seasons, became the Aggies head coach. Taking over Howard’s duties with inside linebackers will be former Aggies inside linebacker Denzel Jones.
“I want to be a mentor to coach Coard as he transitions into a coordinator position,” said Washington about Coard whose defensive line has helped the Aggies earn the reputation of being one of the stingiest run defenses in the nation. “He is an outstanding young coach with tremendous enthusiasm. We are excited about the progression he has made on our staff these past few years.”
N.C. A&T opens the 2018 season 6 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 25 in the Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff against Jacksonville State in Montgomery, Ala. The game will air on ESPN.