North Carolina A&T head football coach Sam Washington promoted Chris Barnette to offensive coordinator on July 23, 2018. Barnette kept his duties as the Aggies quarterbacks coach, a position he has held since 2015.
In Barnette’s first season as offensive coordinator, the Aggies won their fourth MEAC title in five years and claimed the Celebration Bowl and the HBCU national title for the second straight season.
Seven Aggies earned All-MEAC honors on the offensive side of the ball including three first-team selections. In addition, two Aggie running backs – Marquell Cartwright (1st team) and Jah-Maine Martin (3rd team) – both earned All-MEAC honors. N.C. A&T’s offense ranked No. 1 in the MEAC in red zone offense, second in scoring offense, third in total offense and fourth in rushing offense.
N.C. A&T’s signal-callers have seen tremendous success with Barnette as quarterbacks coach. 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. He was also a finalist for the Deacon Jones Award which goes to the best player in black college football. In the process, Raynard broke several single-season records including most passing yards, touchdown passes, completions and attempts.
Raynard earned three All-MEAC honors as the Aggies QB and broke career records in touchdown passes (68), touchdowns responsible for (79, 68 passing & 11 rushing) and passing percentage (.594). Raynard finished his career 35-2 as a starter after winning his first 28 starts as N.C. A&T’s starter. Barnette also developed Kylil Carter into an effective backup for Raynard. In 2015, Carter threw the game-winning touchdown at S.C. State that propelled the Aggies to the Celebration. Three seasons later, Carter led the Aggies offense to an upset victory over FBS opponent East Carolina.
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.
In season two, Barnette had to prepare four quarterbacks for play because of injuries. Raynard, Oluwafemi Bamiro and Carter led the Aggies to a quadruple overtime win over Division I-FBS Kent State. Raynard, Bamiro and Carter along with Isaiah Hicklin threw touchdown passes during the season.
Before accepting the position at N.C. 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 and current Aggies wide receiver coach Matt Pawlowski to second-team All-ODAC honors in 2013. Barnette also guided running back Josh Schow to All-ODAC honors. In each of his four seasons as offensive coordinator, the Quakers offense never had fewer than 2,300 yards passing.
In 2014, Guilford 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).
Barnette’s coaching career at Guilford began in 2007 as a student assistant working with wide receivers. Five Guilford wideouts earned All-Old Dominion Athletic Conference honors under Barnette’s tutelage, including Adam Vaughn who was also named a 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, 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.